South Gloucestershire Council has successfully gained White Ribbon UK accreditation as part of an ongoing commitment to tackle domestic violence and abuse (DVA).
We are one of 66 local authorities – the first in the West of England – currently backing the White Ribbon UK initiative (www.whiteribbon.org.uk), which aims to encourage more men to take part in ending violence against women and children.
White Ribbon UK accreditation is awarded to organisations that have robust practices in place to tackle DVA.
We have shown support and earned this recognition after producing an action plan alongside our new DVA strategy, which sets out the aims and priorities to enable partners and communities across our area to tackle DVA.
The strategy has been developed, and its delivery overseen, by the South Gloucestershire Partnership Against Domestic Abuse (SGPADA). SGPADA has a lead role in developing and implementing a multi-agency delivery plan for tackling the issues linked to DVA in our area. They work in partnership with South Gloucestershire Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership, the local Safeguarding Children Board and the local Safeguarding Adults Board.
Further supporting evidence for our registration included reviewing our existing DVA Staff Policy and adopting Public Health England’s DVA toolkit. The Council has also carried out an audit of DVA provision and benchmarked this against national standards and best practice.
More related work taking place over the next year includes setting up task and finishing groups, who will work in partnership and promote the work of the Council and White Ribbon UK in local music venues and sports clubs, alongside highlighting healthy relationships in schools.
We are also in the process of identifying male ambassadors within the Council, who will undergoing training and be positive role models for other staff.
Cllr Erica Williams, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Public Health, said: “Everyone has the right to live free from fear, intimidation and abuse, especially within their own home. It’s important to highlight and raise awareness of the support available for victims and survivors of domestic abuse, so earning this White Ribbon UK accreditation is another positive step in our ongoing commitment to tackle domestic violence and abuse in South Gloucestershire.”
Alongside this is the work of Next Link, who will be backing these initiatives and have the Council contract to provide support services for women, men and children in South Gloucestershire who are, or have been victims of domestic abuse. Their services include safe house accommodation, community outreach services, group programmes and telephone help and advice.
For more information on domestic violence support available in South Gloucestershire, visit our website: http://www.southglos.gov.uk/domesticabuse