Mansfield becomes White Ribbon town

From left: Bev Smith, Corporate Director of Regeneration and Regualtion; Cllr Sonya Ward; Jeremy Regan, Community Engagement Manager; Joan Taylor, Volunteer and Trustee for White Ribbon; Lesley Reece, Community Safety Manager and Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection

From left: Bev Smith, Corporate Director of Regeneration and Regualtion; Cllr Sonya Ward; Jeremy Regan, Community Engagement Manager; Joan Taylor, Volunteer and Trustee for White Ribbon; Lesley Reece, Community Safety Manager and Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection

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MANSFIELD is leading the charge against domestic violence after becoming the third authority in Nottinghamshire to be given a special award for its work with the national White Ribbon campaign.

The district council has gained a White Ribbon Town Award - given to councils that can demonstrate their commitment to the aims of the White Ribbon Campaign.

The national White Ribbon Campaign aims to raise awareness and understanding of men’s violence against women and encourage whole communities to address this issue and work together to reduce domestic violence.

The award was presented at a White Ribbon Campaign wrap event held at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham today.

Coun Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, accepted the award on behalf of the Council. He said: “The Council is very proud that this national campaign has recognised its work to raise awareness of the issues of domestic violence.

“The benefits of dealing with domestic violence cannot be overestimated. This is an issue which affects the whole of society and the ripple effects are long term and far reaching.

“Domestic Violence is a factor in many areas. It is not only the victim who is affected but the impact on children witnessing such abuse is huge.

“The White Ribbon Campaign focuses mainly on men who commit violence against women, with statistics showing this is most prevalent and most likely to result in serious injury or even death, but the message reaches much further and I would encourage men and women to show their support and make the pledge.

“Our work does not end here, we will continue to work alongside our partners to drive down the number of incidents of domestic violence within the area.”

The pledge to become a White Ribbon Town came from a motion put to the Council by Coun Sonya Ward.

“I am really proud that this has come about as a result of a council motion passed last year, although we recognise we still have a long way to go to combat this problem,” she said.

“I was very pleased to hear at the Man Enough event today, Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping make a commitment to protect the funding for domestic violence work.”

In November 2012 the Council worked with Mansfield Town Football Club to promote the campaign at the One Call Stadium by including information about domestic violence and local services in the match programme.

Volunteers also collected donations during the match against Luton, which was given to local Domestic Abuse support organisations – Notts Women’s Aid and NIDAS.

Officers from the council and members of Notts Women’s Aid held an information stand in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield, on 28th November.

Shoppers were given information of the impact of domestic abuse, how to report it and the local services available.

Over 500 people across Mansfield signed the Man Enough pledge sheets, with more expected to have pledged by text or online.