Men across Stirling are being reminded of their part in tackling gender based violence, particularly in nightlife settings, with the launch of a new campaign.
Stirling Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the White Ribbon Scotland initiative ahead of the of the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign which begins later this month.
As part of the campaign, 10,000 beer mats are being circulated to licenced premises across Stirling that bear the branding of White Ribbon Scotland and appeal for men to sign their pledge to stand up to violence against women and girls in all of its forms. This has been facilitated through the Stirling Licensing Forum in collaboration with Stirling Council’s Licensing Standards officer.
Placing messaging to promote understanding of gender based violence in these popular gathering spots is intended to reach as many people in Stirling as possible and spark conversations on the subject.
Stirling Council was the first local authority in Scotland to be awarded White Ribbon status. From 2012, an Elected Member has been appointed to act as Champion for the White Ribbon Campaign.
'An ideal time to focus minds'
Councillor Martin Earl, Stirling Council’s current White Ribbon Champion said: “As we approach the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence it’s an ideal time to focus minds on the crucial role that men have to play in how this issue is tackled.
“We’re also getting close to the festive period where many people will be visiting Stirling’s pubs, bars and restaurants. Making sure that the White Ribbon message features prominently in these settings is a timely reminder of our collective responsibilities as men to stand up against gender based violence.
“Campaign groups frequently remind us that this time of year sees an increase in violence against women and girls. We’re hoping that literally leaving this reminder under people’s noses will make a difference locally.”
The 16 Days of Activism campaign begins on Saturday 25 November to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
'A scourge on our society'
Community Wellbeing and Housing Convener Cllr Gerry McGarvey said: “It’s right that we continue to highlight the cause of challenging gender based violence in our communities via our association with the White Ribbon campaign.
“Violence against women and girls remains a scourge on society and men cannot be complicit while it remains an issue by ignoring it. We might not want to think about such a serious issue and our role in tackling it while trying to enjoy a night out but the message and responsibility to be part of the solution is vital.”
'We can all play our part'
Davy Thompson, Campaign Director at White Ribbon Scotland said: “At White Ribbon Scotland we are delighted to see the thriving local White Ribbon Status Project in the Stirling Council area led by Cllr Earl. Through local messaging, and discussions amongst men, we can all play our part in helping to end violence against women. It matters that men speak up about their opposition to violence against women.
“This initiative in licensed premises across the Council area is very welcome way of introducing men to the White Ribbon pledge to 'never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms.”
Premises in Stirling who wish to offer support to the campaign can request beer mats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.