Council aims to tackle violence against women

White Ribbon camopaigners  Heather Sutcliffe, Chris Green and Joan Taylor.
White Ribbon camopaigners Heather Sutcliffe, Chris Green and Joan Taylor.

Calderdale Council is set to fly the flag in the battle against domestic violence after vowing to do more in tackling the issue.

The Council’s Cabinet met on Monday to ratify recommendations made by Scrutiny Panel Members which included: identifying and reporting any incidents or concerns relating to domestic violence; engaging men in speaking out about violence; and challenging negative energy stereotypes.

Calderdale Council is already an accredited White Ribbon employer - an award issued by Mytholmroyd-based anti-domestic violence charity The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) - and the latest proposals are aimed at increasing awareness amongst staff and the local community.

As part of this initiative, the council will mark White Ribbon Day -an international event held annually on November 25, with a range of activities including flying the White Ribbon flag at Halifax Town Hall and inviting councillors and officers to show their support of the campaign by wearing a white ribbon.

It will also appoint two senior council officers as White Ribbon Campaign Ambassadors and adopt and publicise an employee policy on domestic violence.

Councillor Marcus Thompson, scrutiny chair for communities, said: “Domestic abuse cannot be tolerated and we must do more to tackle this problem.

“This is about physical violence, but also other forms of abuse such as financial and psychological fear and control.

“It damages lives and communities, leaving lifelong scars on those affected.

“We want everyone to know the signs and to challenge this behaviour.”

Cabinet also agreed to continue supporting the White Ribbon Take Action Calderdale Training Project - a ‘bystander programme’, which provides training to young people, aged between 16 and 25, to give them the skills they need to safely intervene in situations where they experience language or behaviour they feel should be challenged.