'Every woman in Milton Keynes has experienced violence, abuse, harassment, or misogyny', says councillor
And every male can help by challenging this behaviour when they see it
Milton Keynes Council has pledged to become a 'White Ribbon City' to challenge male violence against women and girls.
The council has voted to give its full support for the international White Ribbon campaign, which aims to end the gorwing problem.
Today is White Ribbon Day and a special motion was passed at a meeting of Full Council yesterday evening. Councillors wore white ribbons in support of the campaign and its 16 days of action
Introduced by Labour's Cllr Emily Darlington, the motion urges MK Council to continue its work raising awareness around male violence, harassment and abuse towards women and girls and take make Milton Keynes a White Ribbon City.
The council works with schools to teach children and teenagers about healthy relationships and create an environment of zero tolerance when it comes to abuse.
It also works with local organisation MK ACT to help people who experience domestic abuse. Since June, a campaign signposting the support available and raising awareness that abuse is not just violence, has been viewed two million times.
With guidance from White Ribbon UK, a leading charity in the field, the council is developing an action plan to end violence against women in local communities and become a White Ribbon City.
Incidents of domestic abuse are on the rise nationally and locally. Last year, Thames Valley Police recorded 4,338 domestic abuse-related crime incidents, which is a 29% increase compared to 2018/19.
92% of rape cases recorded in the region in the year to March 2020 involved female victims and just 1.6% of rape allegations nationwide result in someone being charged.
Cllr Darlington, who is Cabinet member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “We want to make Milton Keynes a White Ribbon City – a place where abusive behaviour is not tolerated, and women are able to speak out and be heard. We can end men’s violence against women by pledging to never commit, excuse or remain silent.
"Every woman has experienced violence, abuse, harassment, or misogyny. Every man can be part of the solution by calling out and challenging behaviour wherever they see it.”
The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end men's violence against women, by encouraging men to pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse or are concerned about a friend or family member, you can contact local domestic abuse specialists MK ACT by web or on 0344 375 4307.
MK Act works in partnership with Milton Keynes Council and offers help to anyone aged 16 years and up within Milton Keynes.