Green Way Academy was the start point for this year's White Ribbon campaign. The wrapped fire engine and Humberside Police vehicle began their tour of 26 schools across the city to raise awareness around domestic abuse.
Every class took part in the event at the academy on 21st Avenue. Over the next two weeks, children and young people across the city will have the opportunity to discuss and explore domestic abuse, bullying and understanding respectful, healthy relationships whilst engaging with planned activities centred around the theme ‘these hands are not for hurting’. Children and young people can then sign the White Ribbon pledge:
‘I pledge never to commit, excuse, or stay silent about abuse or bullying’.
Four years since Hull became a White Ribbon city, agencies across Hull have been working together closely to raise awareness and support victims of domestic abuse. [Photo: Guests, teachers and pupils signed the pledge in front of the White Ribbon engine]
Anyone can experience domestic abuse. It happens in all kinds of relationships and for any reason, regardless of age, race, religion, sex, or lifestyle. In Hull, it is estimated 24,690 women per year experience domestic abuse. The police respond to between 750 and 850 calls every month. Last year, dedicated domestic abuse services in the city supported more than 2,159 victims and their children.
Councillor Mike Thompson, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:
“We are absolutely determined to support victims in reporting these crimes and rebuilding their lives. There are support networks available across the city for women suffering domestic abuse, and for the men perpetrating the abuse, ensuring that they are called to account for their actions but also understand and change their behaviour. I would urge anyone to take advantage of these support networks as it could make all the difference.
We must also remember that domestic abuse also affects children and young people in a number of ways. They can experience the abuse both directly and indirectly and the impact of this can be significant in terms of a child’s emotional, behavioural, cognitive and physical well-being.
“No one should have to experience abuse whether it is physical, sexual, financial or psychological.”
"We have a zero tolerance approach to this type of behaviour and we have successful programmes running across the city to help individuals suffering from abuse. We also have a ‘Strength to Change’ programme available for those carrying out the abusive behaviour in order try and change their behaviour and attitudes towards women."
Chief Fire Office Chris Blacksell has been delighted with the part the Fire Service has played in the campaign locally:
“Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is committed to doing all it can to end domestic violence in any shape or form.
“Our crews and Public Safety teams deal with some of society’s most vulnerable people, and we work with partner agencies to not only look for fire risks, but to recognise abuse in all of its forms whether it be drugs or alcohol or even violence in the home.
“The wrapped engine was launched a year ago and has been seen by thousands of people across the area. It has helped to highlight this issue and hopefully start more conversations and signpost those who witness or suffer domestic violence to receive the support they deserve.”
The White Ribbon campaign was created by men and is aimed at men, to ensure that they take more responsibility for reducing levels of abuse against women. It focuses on the belief that change will only occur when men accept their responsibility to make changes.
The White Ribbon campaign recognises that men can be victims of domestic abuse. This campaign, however, is focused on male violence towards women as this is the predominant picture nationally and locally in Hull, with more than 81% of victims being women. Hull City Council employs a dedicated men’s worker who supports male victims of domestic abuse. Any activity to raise awareness of domestic abuse will increase awareness and practice for all victims.
By wearing a white ribbon, a man makes a personal pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
Anyone who is passionate about this cause is encouraged to pledge their support at www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/pledge