White Ribbon Day: What is it and how will communities across Wales mark the event?

More than 100 women have been killed by men in the UK since the start of this year. Credit: Plaid Cymru

Today marks White Ribbon Day - a movement which is arguably now more important than ever, with more than 100 women having been killed by men in the UK since the start of this year.

What is White Ribbon Day?

  • It is an annual event that marks the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

  • White Ribbon Day signals the first of 16 days of activism, where people in their communities, organisations and workplaces, to come together, and say ‘no’ to violence against women.

In the year to March 2020, around one in four killings were of women in Great Britain. Credit: Welsh Givernment

The charity White Ribbon UK is asking all men to wear a white ribbon and to make the promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women.

How are communities around Wales marking White Ribbon Day?

Residents across Gwent are being asked to get involved and support White Ribbon Day by signing up to the #30Challenge to raise awareness of the 30 children every day in Gwent that are affected by incidents of domestic abuse at home where the police are called.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “White Ribbon Day is extremely important to raise awareness of the devastating impact violence against women by men can have, not only on individuals but their families too.

“The important part is that you support and encourage others to take a stand against violence against women and encourage anyone experiencing abuse to speak out and seek help. Please don’t suffer in silence, help is available.”

To wear a white ribbon is to promise to never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Meanwhile, a candlelit vigil is being held in Pontypridd town centre at 5.30pm to remember every woman and girl who have lost their lives as a result of male violence.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said: “Please join us on Thursday, November 25, White Ribbon Day, as we once again show our support to the global campaign to end male violence against women.

"There is no place for such abuse in our society. Together we can say ‘No’ to violence against women."

'Safe Havens'

Community fire stations across South Wales are also now designated ‘Safe Havens’ for members of the public who feel threatened, intimidated or at risk.

From today (November 25), all 47 South Wales Fire and Rescue Stations will be operating as ‘Safe Havens’.

This means people who feel vulnerable and in imminent danger, due to stalkers, domestic abuse or any other threat - can go to one of the service’s stations for help and support.

Head of Risk Reduction Area Manager, Jason Evans, from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are associated with protecting the public by fighting fires and rescuing people, but we also believe that we have an essential responsibility for keeping people safe from harm through being a safe haven for people to find solace at a time of need or distress.

"Our stations are there as a place of safety where members of the public can go if they are feeling vulnerable, at risk or are feeling under threat from harm.

"All of our crews are fully trained in safeguarding and will be able to support you. Our firefighters are experienced in helping people in traumatic times and the initiative will help us to continue to serve the public when they need us most.”

Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn, said: “This ‘Safe Havens’ initiative for women and girls at risk of violence, sexual assault and domestic abuse is very much welcomed.

"Our ambition for Wales is to end all violence against women and girls and is why we are expanding our National Strategy to include violence, abuse and harassment in the street and workplace as well as the home."

To wear a white ribbon is to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. Credit: Flintshire County Council

Similarly, Flintshire County Council also show their support to the White Ribbon Campaign, with Council Members and officers wearing white ribbons to promote awareness of the campaign.

Many gathered at County Hall in Mold to raise a flag of support.

Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Chris Bithell, said: “The White Ribbon is a symbol of hope for a world where women and girls can live free from the fear of violence. 

"Wearing a white ribbon is a great way to show support for this campaign."

  • If you need help, the Live Fear Free Helpline is available on 0808 80 10 800, text 07860077333 or email: info@livefearfreehelpline.wales