The University of Cumbria has committed to working to end men’s violence against women by becoming White Ribbon UK accredited.
White Ribbon is a global campaign that encourages people, especially men and boys, to individually and collectively take action and change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence. To wear a white ribbon is to promise to ‘never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women’.
The university will now develop a three-year action plan, which it intends will make a real difference through its staff, students, policies, its day-to-day work and role within local communities.
This will include outreach activities at community events such as the upcoming Cumbria Unity Festival.
The university’s senior ambassador for White Ribbon, Tom Davidson, Director, Centre of Excellence in Paramedic Practice is delighted that the university has achieved accreditation, he said:
“As an organisation that is made up of approximately 65% female members of staff, it is important that we recognise and act to safeguard our university community. We will encourage men and boys to challenge violence against women and girls, in line with values that underpin the ‘White Ribbon promise’. Therefore all colleagues, regardless of gender identity, will be invited to sign up to the White Ribbon online promise, joining more than 38,000 others worldwide, and be offered the chance to become a White Ribbon ambassador or champion to spread the message even further.”
Anyone can become a White Ribbon ambassador or champion, irrespective of their gender identity. Ambassadors and champions pledge to speak out to end male violence against women in their communities, workplaces and among their friends.
Anthea Sully, Chief Executive of White Ribbon UK said, “White Ribbon accredited organisations are able to make a real difference towards ending violence against women by promoting a culture of respect and equality, amongst their staff and wider communities. By raising awareness among employees, people can learn how to become allies and call out violent and abusive behaviour when they see it, at work and outside. We are delighted to welcome the University of Cumbria as one of our White Ribbon accredited organisations and are looking forward to working with them.”
White Ribbon accreditation is one of a number of initiatives the university is incorporating into its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, including Athena Swan bronze award, Safer Women at Night scheme, Expect Respect UCSU campaign and affilation with the North West Sexual Violence Week, alongside Stonewall silver award.