For sixteen days from November 25th, staff at Trowbridge Town Council will be supporting White Ribbon UK, the leading charity engaging with men and boys to end violence against women, its purpose being to take action and raise awareness to prevent this violence before it is given the opportunity to begin.

The charity’s leading message for 2021 is #AllMenCan: this evolved earlier in the year when the shocking murder in London of Sarah Everard brought women’s experiences of male violence to the forefront of the nation’s conscience. This event also opened up many conversations about men taking action against male violence.

All staff are being encouraged to make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent on this matter. As a whole, the Town Council will additionally ensure that policies and protocols are in place should staff or customers disclose that they themselves are a victim.

Councillor Antonio Piazza, who initially tabled a motion regarding the Town Council’s support of White Ribbon UK, said “I decided to draft this motion after several of my closest friends spoke to me about how they feel when finding themselves alone in public spaces after dark. The senseless and horrific murder of Sarah Everard serves as a terrible reminder that despite living in a progressive society, our communities are still not a safe place to live for women.

“Trowbridge Town Council will be the first parish council in the county to acknowledge that there is a real problem in our society, encouraging others to acknowledge that there is a problem, and then working together to tackle the problem. In agreeing to become a White Ribbon Supporter Organisation, we are teaching our sons, our fathers, and our brothers to respect women and girls, ultimately helping to prevent horrific atrocities that have no place in our community.

“I am also encouraging other parishes to follow us in making the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about male violence against women; however, I will also be going further in asking Wiltshire Council to take another step forward in seeking accreditation, fighting to tackle this issue, and working to eradicate it on a county-wide level.”