Wales Co-operative Centre has become the latest organisation to be accredited by the White Ribbon UK campaign, which sees it pledge to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about violence against women.
White Ribbon is a trans-national movement that is committed to ending male violence against women and is working to generate meaningful behavioural changes in men and boys.
Through its ‘I Promise’ pledge, White Ribbon UK asks individuals, organisations, and communities to under no circumstances defend inexcusable behaviour towards women, nor remain complicit and remain silent about male violence towards women.
The movement intends to be the impetus for behavioural and attitudinal change by creating an environment where men and boys are emboldened to be vocal ambassadors of change whether domestically, or collectively in the wider society.
Wales Co-operative Centre was accredited by White Ribbon to help raise awareness of the ‘I Promise’ pledge and to be a model organisation that serves as a visible ally of this campaign. Male and female staff members are encouraged to sign the pledge.
Sarah Beal, staff co-ordinator of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “During 2021, Wales Co-operative Centre staff were offered the opportunity to undertake training about domestic violence. There was a massive uptake; the issue was obviously one which was very close to the hearts of the attendees, and taking positive action against it aligned with the culture and vision of our organisation. Following this training, we decided to pursue accreditation.
“We were thrilled to see the numbers of people who volunteered to be involved with the White Ribbon steering group and the wider working party who will deliver on the actions agreed. Commitment comes from the top with Derek Walker, our chief executive, participating in the steering group, and the board confirming their support and commitment to our action plan.”
White Ribbon approved the Centre’s application in January, and it is now implementing its Action Plan which also feeds into its overarching agenda with regards to diversity and inclusion.
Ms Beal added: “There is a lot of interest generally with support and suggestions coming from the wider organisation. Staff have a good appetite for discussion areas like ‘positive masculinity’ as well as for practical internal measures. Particularly encouraging is the number of male colleagues who have signed up to be White Ribbon ambassadors.”
The Centre wants to create an environment where:
- Domestic abuse and violence against women is challenged,
- People feel safe
- Unhealthy relationship dynamics are understood and can be expressed
- People’s situation can be addressed discreetly and without shame, and
- Gender-based prejudice is rejected
Centre CEO Derek Walker added: “Violence against women is a workplace issue. Male violence can have a serious impact on the health and safety of employees as well as on their well-eing. It impacts on workplace culture, and ultimately to our success as an organisation. As CEO, I thought it was important to become a White Ribbon ambassador, to seek to be a positive male role model. And by the organisation becoming White Ribbon accredited, I hope we can raise awareness of the campaign, internally as well as externally and make a difference in ending violence against women.”
To find out how you can support White Ribbon and to show your support, please visit the website and sign the ‘I Promise’ pledge today – https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise