White Ribbon UK Accreditation

Date of Meeting:

25 November 2021

Report of:

Executive Director of Housing Neighbourhoods and Communities

Contact Officer:


Anne Clark





Ward(s) affected:







1.1     This report updates the Committee on White Ribbon UK (WRUK) and the actions required for Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) to achieve White Ribbon UK Accreditation.




That the Tourism, Equalities and Culture Committee:


2.1     Recommends to Full Council that it agrees officers should apply for  White Ribbon Accreditation.


2.2     Agrees the action plan set out in Appendix 1.


That Full Council:


2.3     Agrees officers should apply for  White Ribbon Accreditation.




3.1      White Ribbon UK is part of an international movement to engage men in tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG). The White Ribbon Campaign began in Canada in 1991. White Ribbon’s mission is for all men to fulfil the White Ribbon pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women and act as a catalyst, encouraging people, and especially men and boys, individually and collectively to take action against violence against women.


3.2    VAWG is an umberella term which encompasses a range of serious violence crime types which are predominantly but not exclusively experienced by females including:


·         Crimes in the name of “Honour”

·         Domestic abuse

·         Harmful Practices including Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage

·         Sexual Violence, abuse and exploitation including rape and forced prostitution

·         Sexual harassment and bullying

·         Stalking

·         Trafficking and Modern Slavery


3.3 White Ribbon UK work together with their supporters, ambassadors,   champions, organisations, and policy makers, to raise awareness, educate and campaign to bring about change. These partners are working across England and Wales engaging with many thousands of people to change the attitudes that underpin domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls.


3.4   Undertaking White Ribbon UK Accreditation demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to ending VAWG and ensures all policies and programmes are aligned with the Home Office Violence Against Women and Girls National Statement of Expectations[1]. Public sector bodies achieving White Ribbon status demonstrates their organisation’s commitment to:


·         Drive social change to strengthen gender equality and stop violence against women

·         Improve organisational culture, safety, and morale

·         Increase staff knowledge and skills to address violence against women



3.5    White Ribbon Accreditation is achieved through the development of a   three-year         organisation wide action plan covering, strategic leadership, engaging men and boys, raising awareness, and changing culture. Key features include that a strong commitment to White Ribbon UK Accreditation is made by the senior leaders in an organisation, that there is a whole organisation approach, and that the action plan is led and monitored by a designated team.


3.6  A key aspect of supporting White Ribbon is to take the pledge ‘to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women’ and wearing a white ribbon amongst staff (encouraging all staff to wear one) and more widely (customers, community partners, businesses). BHCC will need to endorse and promote signing the White Ribbon UK promise.


3.7  Historically, Brighton and Hove have demonstrated a firm commitment to White Ribbon UK having achieved accreditation status in 2013, 2015 and 2017. More recently, the Joint Unit for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls (DVA/SVA/VAWG) have promoted ‘White Ribbon’ during the 16 days of action against gender-based violence (running from 25th November to 10th December annually).



3.8   Appendix 1 depicts the  local authority action plan template with details of all actions that will need to be completed. If the Tourism, Communities, Equalities and Culture Committee is supportive of the proposal, the Commissioner for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls (DVA/SVA/VAWG), will populate the action plan and look to start implementation in December  2021.


3.9  The multi-agency and partnership strategic work that has already been conducted by the Joint Unit helps to meet several of the objectives. This includes the Pan Sussex DVA/SVA/VAWG Strategy and delivery action plan, together with the wide range of DVA/SVA/Stalking and Harassment services delivering support in Brighton and Hove.





4.1  This report is intended to provide an update on White Ribbon UK Accreditation. Currently, there is not an alternative or equivalent to White  Ribbon UK Accreditation




5.1  The Joint Unit for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls (DVA/SVA/VAWG) continue to support and promote White Ribbon during the 16 days of action against gender-based violence. This includes community engagement activities, however, there has not been any specific community engagement and/or consultation on White Ribbon UK Accreditation.




6.1 This report is to provide information regarding White Ribbon UK Accreditaton and  is seeking a decision on the appointment of Members to become White Ribbon Champons and for Brighton and Hove City Council to undertake White Ribbon UK Accreditation.




Financial Implications:


7.1 For an organisation the size of BHCC accreditation costs £600 annually which will be met from within current budget resources.


            Finance Officer consulted: Mike Bentley                                     Date: 10/11/21


Legal Implications:


7.2       The decision to apply for accreditation must be taken by Full Council as the Council’s Constitution requires this where the decision is to endorse, approve or commit the the Council to any charter, alliance or pledge.


            Lawyer Consulted:                   Alice Rowland                               Date: 10/11/21


7.3      Equalities Implications:


            White Ribbon UK accreditataion provides a framework for organisations to promote gender equality.


7.4      Sustainability Implications:


None identified.

Appendix 1


1. Strategic Leadership

Identify member/s of senior leadership/executive to be the strategic lead for White Ribbon Status and White Ribbon Champion or Ambassador.

Governance body/Executive agree WRUK commitment.

Nominate a lead officer to oversee development and implementation of WRUK strategy, monitoring progress and reporting back to WRUK. This person should be a White Ribbon Ambassador or Champion.

Establish a WRUK Steering Group to oversee the agreed action plan. Lead members of the steering group should be White Ribbon Ambassadors or Champions.

Ensure policies are in place that cover male violence against women & domestic abuse, including within HR policies for staff.

Develop a staff training strategy that includes male violence against women (including sexual violence, coercive control, consent, and domestic abuse).

Ensure all policies and programmes are aligned with the Home Office VAWG National Statement of Expectations.

Build White Ribbon Accreditation as a social value indicator into the commissioning process.

Work with key local partners including education, emergency services and health to develop a joint strategic approach to ending male violence against women.

Ensure adequate support and housing services for women and children experiencing/fleeing domestic abuse.

2. Engaging Men & Boys

Appoint at least 4 male ambassadors within your organisation. All White Ribbon Ambassadors are required to complete WRUK online training.

Promote signing the WRUK promise and wearing a white ribbon amongst staff and more widely (customers, community partners, businesses)

Provide opportunities for ambassadors and champions to become well informed about their role and confident about what men and boys can do to challenge violence against women and girls. Such as providing training.

Ensure that education programmes about domestic abuse and healthy relationships, specifically directed towards boys, within the PSHE curriculum.

Identify opportunities to engage with men and boys, such as through community programmes.

3. Changing Culture

Ensure that all staff do not behave in sexist, harassing or abusive behaviours, through staff induction, training, and ongoing communication.

Develop a zero-tolerance approach to sexist, harassing or abusive behaviours from service users.

Develop a clear system for reporting, assessing, dealing with, and reporting incidents of sexism, harassment, abuse, sexual assault, or violence.

Ensure that no organisational promotional materials use abusive or sexist imagery.

Work towards a zero-tolerance policy on Sexual Entertainment Venues.

Work towards the development of a RESPECT-accredited perpetrator programme.

Consider working towards achieving Purple Flag Status.

Staff at venues to be trained to handle incidents and reports of abuse.  If this includes venues where alcohol is served to include training on drink spiking.

4. Raising Awareness

Develop a comprehensive communications plan for staff and customers that identifies engaging with men and boys against violence against women and girls as a key goal.

Ensure that information about where people can get help, support and advice is communicated, accessible & displayed.

Display the WRUK commitment & logo in a wide range of settings such as website, signage, & promotional materials.

Encourage all staff to wear the white ribbon.

Display & utilise White Ribbon awareness raising materials such as posters & videos on customer information screens.

Mark the following dates: November 25th: White Ribbon Day- The International Day to End Male Violence Against Women. November 25th – 10th December: The following 16 days of action.

Maximise opportunities to raise awareness in local communities, such as street stalls, meetings, and open days.

Work with local sports clubs to encourage accreditation.

Work with local music venues to encourage accreditation.