Hammersmith & Fulham calls for united front in preventing domestic violence


The council wants to involve the whole community ahead of White Ribbon Day this Sunday.


By Hayley Fox

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is aiming to involve the whole community in preventing domestic violence, ahead of White Ribbon Day this Sunday.

Campaigning organisation White Ribbon holds its annual day to raise awareness of its campaign for men and boys to pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

The council is seeking to gain White Ribbon status, which is given to local authorities that show they can involve the community in preventing domestic violence.

Wandsworth Borough Council was given the status earlier this year and the London Borough’s of Enfield, Hillingdon and Lambeth also hold the status.

It already works in partnership with local organisations such as, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence.

This week Councillor Belinda Donovan, Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, unveiled a ribbon-shaped photo collage with members of Hammersmith and Fulham’s strategic partnership against domestic violence and abuse.

Cllr Donovan said: “Domestic violence is a serious crime which has the potential to destroy families. Victims need to know that there are support services available to them and that ultimately they do not have to suffer in silence or face their fears alone.”

The day, also known as UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, encourages men to don white ribbons to show their personal pledge.

Independent charity Victim’s Support offers support to victims and witnesses after crimes to over 1.5 million people each year.

Patrick Green, Deputy Locality Director for Victim Support London, said the day can only be a good thing.

He added: “Being a woman who is the victim of violence is a traumatic experience and can leave long lasting scars.”

In England and Wales, 30% of women are abused during their lifetimes.

Women’s Aid is the national charity for domestic violence, helping up to 250,000 women and children every year.

Deborah McIlveen, Women’s Aid’s Policy and Services Manager, said it is vital that every woman, man and child can recognise domestic and sexual violence and understand it should not be tolerated.

She added: “Global campaigns like White Ribbon Day and 16 Days of Action are great ways of raising awareness about domestic violence and of letting victims know how and where they can get help, and to make it clear to perpetrators that their actions are unacceptable, and in many cases criminal, and that they should be held to account.”

While the campaign’s main concern is men showing their opposition to violence towards women, the charity is also concerned about violence towards men and children. 

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Picture courtesy of Stéphanie Amesse, with thanks

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