Stirling Council’s newly appointed White Ribbon Champion, Cllr Martin Earl, has highlighted the ‘key role’ men have to play as the Council reaffirms its commitment to a campaign in collaboration with partner organisations aimed at eradicating gender based violence across Scotland.
Cllr Earl said: “Men must acknowledge they have a key role in ending violence against women and girls. How we act, speak and react is crucial to ensuring gender based violence in all its forms is challenged and ultimately prevented.
“It is a privilege to have been appointed to my role and I will do everything I can to support this vital campaign. I hope people come forward and help us ensure Stirling is at the forefront of ending violence against women and girls.”
Following discussions with White Ribbon Scotland, the Council, along with partner organisations in the Stirling Gender Based Violence Partnership, is re-energising its local campaign to increase awareness of the issue, including the establishment of a new steering group.
Advocating for long term change
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.
As part of the renewed campaign, White Ribbon Scotland is recruiting volunteers who will be given training to host awareness raising events within their communities. Volunteer speakers are encouraged to advocate for long term behavioural change.
Davy Thompson, Campaign Director for White Ribbon Scotland said: “White Ribbon Scotland is proud that Stirling was the first area in Scotland to achieve the award of White Ribbon Status in recognition of the work undertaken to involve more men in addressing violence against women and girls.
“This scourge on our communities is a human rights issue and we all have a role to play in ending it. With the re-launch of the White Ribbon Stirling Campaign, we look forward to a sustained approach exploring the many aspects of what men can do to make a difference.”
Chair of the Stirling GBV Partnership, Jill Stevenson, said: "I am delighted that a number of organisations who collaborate as part of the Stirling GBV Partnership will be working with White Ribbon to involve men more actively in our Council -wide approach to eradicating gender based violence. We know that the majority of gender based violence is perpetrated by men and so it is clear that solutions to the problem must involve men too."