Surrey Heath Borough Council has expressed its support and thanks to partners across the county working to tackle violence against women and girls.
This follows the news that Surrey has been announced as only the second official ‘White Ribbon County’ in the UK, recognising the commitment of Surrey’s agencies as part of the global movement to end male violence against women and girls.
It focuses on asking supporters to pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women in all its forms, whilst spreading a message of equality and respect.
Last year, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Surrey Police achieved White Ribbon Status with both the PCC David Munro and Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave becoming ambassadors.
Surrey’s ‘county accreditation’ means all agencies in the Surrey Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) partnership have now been given White Ribbon Status.
White Ribbon forms a key part in supporting the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy and helps raise awareness of significant new legislation now in place.
This includes specific offences of stalking, forced marriage, failure to protect from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and revenge pornography, as well as the new domestic abuse offence around coercive or controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.
Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: "I am delighted to see Surrey become an official White Ribbon County and be recognised as one of the leading areas in the country in tackling domestic abuse and violence against women.
“We know that the complex nature of this type of criminality means it cannot be addressed by any one agency alone and strong partnership arrangements are crucial.
“This award is a testament to the hard work not only being carried out within policing but by agencies and services across the county who provide an effective first response to abuse and get survivors the support they deserve.
"I am proud to support the White Ribbon campaign and promote the message that violence against women and girls is unacceptable and we must do everything in our power to put a stop to it.”
SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan said: “We are proud of our work with Surrey Against Domestic Abuse, and congratulate all those involved in Surrey achieving White Ribbon status.
“In our support for Domestic Abuse Awareness Week, and Surrey Police’s recent hard-hitting #amisafe campaign highlighting the many different facets of domestic abuse, we will continue to play our part in helping to raise awareness of the issues involved, and the help that is available for those affected.”
Your Sanctuary - 9-9 helpline: 01483 776822, www.yoursanctuary.org.uk
Surrey Against Domestic Abuse www.surreyagainstda.info
Learn more about the White Ribbon Campaign here: http://www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/