White Ribbon Fife to offer and alternative session in the woods as this was a bit different to what we’re used to and this made it engaging and fun. The workshop was really relevant to the girls and encouraged them to think about their own relationships, recognise abusive behaviours and understand how to keep themselves safe and signposted where to find help.”
The ambitious target of 2000 sign ups by Christmas for the male-led campaign, which aims to end violence against women, was agreed following success of the campaign last year when 1,000 people took the pledge and signed their support.
Now with over 2,200 sign ups recorded already this year, the campaign is gearing up to reach the milestone of 3000 as soon as possible.
Women and men are asked to pledge their support not to “commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women,” and to wear a white ribbon to show their support for the campaign.
Over 80 young people took part in a recent sign up event at Lochgelly High School. Pupils heard a presentation on the work of the campaign before pledging their support.
Chair of the White Ribbon Fife Steering Group is Cllr Kenny Selbie. He explained how important it is to spread the message of the White Ribbon campaign among young people: “We are continually working to encourage more young people to sign up and show their support for the campaign.
“Domestic abuse and sexual violence can have a huge impact on victims, their families and communities. The White Ribbon campaign aims to change attitudes and say that this behaviour is not ok. More men need to speak out against this abuse and violence against women. It’s something we should all be concerned about and no woman in Fife should be living in fear.
“I’m delighted that we’ve reached this tremendous milestone and look forward to spreading the message and encouraging more sign ups.”
White Ribbon Fife Steering group comprises representatives from Fife Council, NHS Fife, Police Scotland, Fire Scotland, Fife College, and voluntary organisation (including Fife Women’s Aid and Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre) and private sector.
Recent statistics show:
- Number of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police - 4161
- Number of women supported by Fife Women’s Aid - 792
- Number of sexual incidents reported to police - 829
- Number of individuals supported by voluntary sector sexual violence agencies - 563
In a bid to raise the profile of the White Ribbon Fife Campaign across Fife council, a number of information events have taken place in Fife council premises, including Fife House, Bankhead Central, Rothesay House, County Buildings, Cupar and Town House, Kirkcaldy.
White Ribbon Speakers, including Cllr. John Docherty, have been collecting pledges in council buildings from employees and members of the public alike in a bid to reach the 1000 pledge target set at the launch of the White Ribbon Fife Campaign last November. All employees have also been encouraged to pledge support online in an email from Fife Council Chief Executive, Steve Grimmond, himself a supporter of the campaign.
Training for White Ribbon speakers who will be going in to schools to deliver lessons to S3 pupils across Fife took place on Wednesday 10th September 2014.
White Ribbon Scotland Co-ordinators Callum and Davy, co-facilitated the half-day session with Lynda Dargie, Learning & Development Officer. The session gave Speakers the opportunity to explore the lesson plan and resources that will be used in schools, as well as taking part in discussions around child protection and common themes that arise when working with young people.
Fresher’s Week has been a busy time for White Ribbon Speakers in Fife. Speaker events and information stands to raise the profile of the White Ribbon Fife Campaign have been held across the various campuses of Fife College and at Elmwood College, Cupar.
Presentations to students by White Ribbon Speakers, including Cllr. Kenny Selbie, the Chair of the White Ribbon Fife Steering Group have been well received, generating a great deal of discussion around the campaign and wider issues of violence against women.
White Ribbon Fife talk to S3 pupils about how they can recognise and challenge violence against women. Here they are looking at characteristics that can define and limit boys and girls behaviour, options and attitudes.
Ronnie Ross, Head Teacher- Kirkland High School and Community College, Methil & Headteacher Designate - Levenmouth Campus, Fife
"The White Ribbon Campaign is one of the most important causes we as a school and college have supported over the last few years. When we first heard of the work being done by the campaign and the vision its supporters have for Scotland, indeed beyond, our staff and our pupils wanted to be involved. We are a Rights Respecting School and hold the personal safety of everyone but particularly children and women dearly. Violence against women comes in many forms and must be tackled at all levels. Our pupils are clear that it is totally unacceptable and have agreed that we should all do everything we can to root out this evil in our society. I am extremely proud of the way our staff, pupils and students have embraced this important cause over the years. They all see education as the key to challenging attitudes in society. The school works with young people and their families to raise awareness of the issue. Ultimately we would want all our young men to be ambassadors for the cause. Our boys are encouraged to 'never commit , condone or remain silent about violence against girls or women.' We are all proud to be associated with and work with White Ribbon Scotland because it is an organisation which is led by men to end any form or type of violence against women. At Kirkland we hope the organisation and the White Ribbon Scotland campaign goes from strength to strength."
Levenmouth Local Area Committee
South West Fife Local Area Committee