'Upskirting' law passed in UK

Despite controversial blocking from some MPs, the bill to introduce laws against unconsenting images such as 'upskirt' pictures being taken, the decision was taken today to ban them.

The government has confirmed it will introduce legislation to ban upskirting after a Conservative backbencher was berated by party colleagues for blocking a bill to make the practice a specific criminal offence.

 Festivalgoer Gina Martin, victim of 'upskirting'.

Festivalgoer Gina Martin, victim of 'upskirting'.

With this ban assuredly coming into action after a positive online campaign from many (including Gina Martin, a victim of 'upskirting' - campaign video below), White Ribbon UK is asking social media companies to take the lead and ban all unconsenting images altogether.

Chris Green OBE, Founder and President of White Ribbon UK said, "Large social media organisations such as twitter have a responsibility to stand with women. WRUK urges soc net sites to take the lead in respecting women's privacy and acknowledging the importance of consent by blocking unconsented images such as 'upskirting' etc."

HOPE Not Hate festival in Bradford

Bradford Council hosted the HOPE Not Hate festival last week. Our CEO Anthea Sully was present at our stall, talking to festivalgoers about the importance of the campaign, particularly in music. Ikram Butt, project coordinator for the campaign, gave a rousing speech about audiences being active bystanders and awareness of the issue of violence against women at festivals.

'Shocking' new research into sexual violence at UK music festivals

A recent YouGov report found that one in five festivalgoers – and more than two in five of those who are female and under 40 – say they have been sexually assaulted or harassed at a UK festival.

30% of female festivalgoers of all ages and 43% of those under 40 said they had faced some kind of unwanted sexual behaviour, the most common being “unwelcome and forceful dancing”.

When asked about the report, Paul Reed, the chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals spoke of the importance of people being active bystanders: “If people don’t intervene, then this behaviour becomes normalised,” he said. “People shouldn’t feel that they need to tolerate [at festivals] the type of behaviour that they wouldn’t tolerate in the street.”

 White Ribbon UK accredited festival, HOPE Not Hate in Bradford last week.

White Ribbon UK accredited festival, HOPE Not Hate in Bradford last week.

In response to longstanding concerns about sexual assault at British music festivals, White Ribbon UK started the Safer Music and Venues campaign. Music venues and festivals across the UK have taken the lead on making festivals safer by bringing their policies in line with our campaign, and ensuring there is a safe way for people to report harassment and abuse.

White Ribbon UK Safer Music and Venues project coordinator, Tony Saunders said, "We've known for a long time that many festivals have issues with safety and abuse - that's why we started the music campaign. These figures, while shocking, are sadly not a surprise to many. We hope that it will encourage more festivals to take the stand, and accredit and adopt our policies".

Apply for accreditation.

Source

 

 

 2018 Report on Sexual Harassment and Abuse at UK Festivals

2018 Report on Sexual Harassment and Abuse at UK Festivals

Jo Cox Memorial Rugby Game - White Ribbon UK Trophy

For the second year running, the Jo Cox Foundation, in conjunction with White Ribbon UK, put on a rugby match in Jo Cox's hometown of Batley on 17th June. As part of this year’s Great Get Together, the British Asian Rugby Association played against the British Bulldogs for the White Ribbon UK Jo Cox Memorial Trophy. The carnival atmosphere continued post-match and into the evening.

The Great Get Together is an initiative created by Jo’s family and friends and see a series of events held nationwide.

Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater said,

 Jo Cox's Mother, Jean Leadbeater presents the trophy to the winning team on 17th June.

Jo Cox's Mother, Jean Leadbeater presents the trophy to the winning team on 17th June.

“It is an honour to be working in partnership with the Batley Bulldogs to organise ‘The Great Rugby League Get Together’ including the Jo Cox Memorial game, on 17th June, as part of this year’s national Great Get Together campaign.

"My background is in sport and physical activity, and I feel passionately about the role it has in not only our health and wellbeing but also in bringing communities and people together."

 

 Awareness raising materials at the event

Awareness raising materials at the event

 Both teams at the Jo Cox Memorial Game

Both teams at the Jo Cox Memorial Game

 Parents of Jo, Gordon and Jean Leadbeater

Parents of Jo, Gordon and Jean Leadbeater

Nice N Sleazy Festival

White Ribbon UK had a heavy presence at the Nice & Sleazy Music Festival this year in Morecambe. The festival is best known for Punk & Ska music but has one of the most diverse demographic in any UK music festival with attendance averaging 1,500 people.

Our ambassadors, Brian Mitchell, John Bolton & Tony Saunders ran a campaign stall in the main area, while the band, The White Ribbons performed on both the main stage & marquee stage, receiving a massive response, for their charismatic approach to the campaign message. The influence that music & musicians can have on young people cannot be understated, especially at these sort of events. Ambassadors invariably find themselves engaging young people in important conversations about being positive role-models in a society and culture which normalises violence against women.

Band, The White Ribbons, at Nice N Sleazy Festival, Morcambe 2018, talking about Sophie Lancaster, the alternative community, and men calling out violent, bullying behaviour amongst their peers. The band spreads the White Ribbon UK message of equality and respect.

nice n sleazy reduced.jpg

Refugee Week starts today

18-24th June is Refugee Week.

This week both celebrates the diversity and culture refugees bring to the UK, whilst highlighting the many humanitarian issues they face while making the dangerous journey to Europe, and when they arrive.

Refugee women are extremely vulnerable to sexual assault and exploitation, including rape. There are a number of testimonies by women, of rape and sexual violence on the boats. Refugee women have the right to live free from the constant threat of violence and exploitation and survivors must have access to services. Reproductive health is essential for them to maintain their dignity and rebuild their lives.

White Ribbon UK recognises the issues these women face and encourage our ambassadors to speak openly about this subject. The lack of awareness of the struggle women refugees are facing in the UK must change if we are to support the need for services and help to be made available to refugees on arrival.

The Women's Refugee Commission provides training and resources on this matter, which can be accessed using the links below. We also have specially designed white ribbon badges on our shop for those of you who want to openly show your support for women refugees who are facing violence.

 

 

 

Resources:

Surrey County Accreditation and Training

Surrey are the second full county to gain White Ribbon UK accreditation. Twenty five Ambassadors from Surrey Police, Fire and Rescue Service, and other public sector organisations came together to learn share ideas and build a stronger white ribbon network across the County. Feedback included "Change can happen" "I feel enthused to continue making a difference" "Taking  action is easy - we just need to start".

 The inspiring presentation from Luke and Ryan Hart, speaking about life with their controlling, murdering father to other White Ribbon Ambassadors . 

The inspiring presentation from Luke and Ryan Hart, speaking about life with their controlling, murdering father to other White Ribbon Ambassadors . 

 Three sheets of new Surrey organisations suggested by Ambassadors that will be approached to become supporting organisations for White Ribbon UK.

Three sheets of new Surrey organisations suggested by Ambassadors that will be approached to become supporting organisations for White Ribbon UK.

 White Ribbon Beer mats on the bar at Guildford Rugby Club

White Ribbon Beer mats on the bar at Guildford Rugby Club

 

 

The World Cup Starts Today

Today the World Cup starts in Russia. We are aware that violence increases during World Cup season. The link between domestic abuse and major sporting events is well established. In 2014, researchers at Lancaster University found that reported incidents of domestic abuse in Lancashire rose by 38% on days when England lost at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Incidents were also 11% higher than average on the day after an England match.

In America, they fully acknowledge the increase of violence, and as such the Super Bowl has a massive campaign against domestic violence. We need to do the same with the World Cup, and this year White Ribbon UK, alongside the police and local authorities across the country, are doing just that.

Being active bystanders is essential all year round; however, we ask that you pay particular attention during this time, calling out sexist language and abuse if you witness it.

Look for the signs:

  • Coercive control
  • Sexist language
  • Excessive drinking
  • Anger and rage

We have materials available to raise awareness of this prevalent issue on our shop, which have already had a positive effect across the UK and the rest of the world.

Arsenal in the Community have helped raise awareness with a football tournament for the local community in the run up to the World Cup; and European Parliament have shown their support for the campaign too (pictured below).

35225639_1597126380398695_5829175793619566592_o.jpg

White Ribbon UK invited to England World Cup warm-up match

Our World Cup campaign was given a massive boost at the England v Costa Rica warm up match which took place at Elland Road, Leeds on 7 June. We were delighted that Ikram Butt, White Ribbon’s sports programme coordinator was invited by the Football Association as a guest to the match, the last of their friendlies for England, prior to their departure heading off to Qatar for the World Cup competition.

Instances of domestic abuse increase during the world cup tournaments – our campaign highlights this and calls up all men to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. It was great for White Ribbon UK to be in the Royal Box amongst a host of dignitaries including the FA, Costa Rica officials and a number of former Leeds & England internationals to share such an important message.

Ikram was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the legendary Norman Hunter, one of the greatest players to ever play for Leeds, a former England international and, of course, World Cup winner in 1966. Norman was known for his tenacity on the pitch, however, was a gentleman off it.  After talking to Ikram, Norman wore his white ribbon badge all evening. We could see people asking Norman what the badge stood for and him responding.

Other notable international stars supporting our cause included Nigel Martyn, former Leeds & England goal keeper.

  Norman Hunter  Former footballer who played for Leeds United, Bristol City, Barnsley and England.

Norman Hunter Former footballer who played for Leeds United, Bristol City, Barnsley and England.

  Nigel Martyn  retired professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1987 until 2006.

Nigel Martyn retired professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1987 until 2006.

Arsenal and Islington Council 5-a-side event

Last Wednesday saw a well-attended 5-a-side tournament organised by Islington Council and Arsenal In The Community to bring attention to potential rise in Domestic Abuse during World Cup. 

Arsenal Community Hub was the ideal venue for this kind of event, and we saw some great networking opportunities. The event delivered a strong message and we played some great football!

Vital front line service agencies had stands at the event including Solace Women's Aid.

There was robust support at the event from Councillors, Police, council officers from across the authority, and the Arsenal Community Foundation.

- Chris Green (President, White Ribbon UK).

 Players and teams at 'Show Domestic Violence the Red Card'

Players and teams at 'Show Domestic Violence the Red Card'

 The winning men's and women's teams at 'Show Domestic Violence the Red Card'

The winning men's and women's teams at 'Show Domestic Violence the Red Card'

IMG_7853.JPG

Lobby of Arsenal Community Hub (featuring White Ribbon UK campaign poster)

IMG_7854.JPG

White Ribbon UK stall at 'Show Domestic Violence the Red Card'