March 8, 2022. News

VRU awarded White Ribbon status – International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day (8 March), Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit and our leading partner Thames Valley Police have both been accredited as White Ribbon status organisations, committed to ending male violence towards women.

The White Ribbon UK charity is part of a global movement which is engaging with men and boys to encourage them to take a stand against violence. The mission is to encourage all men to fulfil the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

The charity’s work to encourage people, especially men and boys, to individually and collectively take action and change behaviours is directly in line with the VRU’s approach to tackling violence through education, early intervention and prevention.

All members of the VRU’s core programme team have made the White Ribbon Promise and a number of the team are White Ribbon Ambassadors – helping to educate others.

Last year, the VRU established a Special Interest Group dedicated to Violence Involving those who Identify as Women & Girls (VIIWAG.  The group meets monthly and brings together a wide range of partners and representatives, creating a community of practice.  The group shares their wide and varied experience and learning, best practice and creates a professional network.

In addition, the VRU’s work with schools has created education packages for use in PSHE lessons and has also seen officers attend to make presentations exploring the topics of appropriate behaviours, safe online practices, respect for all and issues around peer-on-peer sexual conduct.

Looking ahead to 2022, the VRU is working on a new schools bystander intervention programme which will seek to equip schoolchildren with the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify inappropriate and violent behaviours and to share concerns and make their own interventions.

Inspector Gayle Tandy, who leads the VRU’s Violence Against those who Identify as Women and Girls work, said:

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the role that we all have to play in ensuring that women and girls remain safe and valued, treated fairly and with respect.

“Achieving White Ribbon accreditation for the VRU is not just a symbolic gesture, it reflects our shared commitment and leadership.

“Across the VRU, we are working closely with partners – particularly Thames Valley Police – on the wider approaches to tackling violence against women and girls.

“Within the VRU, through our professional networks and collaborations we seek to share the best practice and encourage our partners to do more.  And our work particularly with regard schools education and bystander training will help equip young people with the skills to act appropriately.”

The Violence Reduction Unit urges everyone to take the White Ribbon Promise, with more information and wider resources available on the White Ribbon website

White Ribbon charity logo