Motion detailing violence against women and girls to be raised at Milton Keynes Council meeting

Councillors have five points of emphasis they would like to see adopted in Milton Keynes

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 11:48 am

Issues surrounding violence against women and girls will be raised at the next full council meeting in Milton Keynes.

Councillors want to discuss the White Ribbon Campaign, an initiative working to end male violence against women and girls at next Wednesday's meeting (November 24).

The charity engages with boys and men, asking them to promise to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about male violence against women.

Councillor Emily Darlington

Councillor Emily Darlington said: “With only one in 60 sexual assaults reported to the police leading to a charge, it is not surprising that women and girls feel that they are not being protected.

“We all know women who have experienced sexual assault or have been victims ourselves. We have focussed on changing women’s behaviours for the last 100 years and the situation has just gotten worse. We need to focus now on changing the environment that enables these crimes and abuse to persist in our society.”

The motion wants the council to:

-Arrange awareness training for councillors on male violence against women.

-Encourage staff and members to promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women

-Make November 25, White Ribbon Day, part of the civic calendar with ambassador-led activities involving staff, members and the public

-Work towards becoming a White Ribbon accredited authority

-Work closely with local agencies and organisations involved in tackling male violence against women to work towards making Milton Keynes a White Ribbon city

Almost one in three women have been subject to sexual violence at least once in their life, according to data by the World Health Organisation.

That same number of women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and nearly three quarters of women (71%) have already experienced sexual harassment in a public place, data from domestic violence charity, Refuge shows.

Councillor Jane Carr, said: “MK Council plays a crucial and influential role in our community, and by backing this campaign it shows that we will not tolerate violence.

“I hope this motion is passed cross-party at full council, so that we can work towards making Milton Keynes a White Ribbon city.”

Included in the motion submitted by Councillor Darlington is staggering data relating to Milton Keynes.

Councillor Darlington says, Milton Keynes has a higher recorded rate of domestic abuse compared to any other area covered by Thames Valley Police.

She referenced recent data showing a 29% increase in domestic abuse-related crimes in Milton Keynes, over a two-year period.

In the Thames Valley 92% of rape cases recorded involved female victims and just 1.6% of rape allegations nationwide result in someone being charged.