Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is celebrating after his work to tackle domestic abuse was recognised by a national campaign group.
The White Ribbon organisation has handed Clive Grunshaw’s office White Ribbon status, marking the office’s commitment to supporting the campaign’s pledge never to “commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women”.
And the Commissioner is hoping hundreds of men across Lancashire will follow in his footsteps and make the White Ribbon pledge through the organisation’s Sports Campaign, which has received £10,000 of funding from the Commissioner to launch in Lancashire.
The campaign works with local sports clubs – both amateur and professional – to engage with male fans and educate youngsters about healthy relationships, and the Commissioner said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for me, and part of that involves raising awareness in society that this is an issue we cannot ignore. No one can afford to turn a blind eye to domestic abuse or claim it is not happening – stopping it requires society as a whole to stand against it.
“Spreading that message is White Ribbon’s commitment, and that’s why I’m delighted to both be able to support the Sports Campaign and to have been awarded the status for my office.
“The award demonstrates my continuing commitment to raising awareness of domestic abuse, both within my organisation and with those organisations my officers and I engage with. I am committed to never commit, condone or remain silent about domestic abuse, and I will be continuing to spread that message across Lancashire.”
The Commissioner’s successful bid for the White Ribbon award comes as part of a decision from councils Lancashire-wide to apply for the accreditation, with the ambition of making Lancashire a White Ribbon county.
And White Ribbon aims to use the Sports Campaign funding to connect with local sports clubs, players and coaches, and encourage them to work toward the charity’s sports award and become White Ribbon ambassadors. As a result they will promote the campaign at games, encourage fans to take the White Ribbon pledge and send players into schools with domestic abuse specialists to talk to youngsters about healthy relationships and raise awareness.
The Commissioner added: “I am delighted to be able to contribute toward the sports programme in Lancashire, and I hope it will have a real benefit for our communities. Sports players and coaches are role models in their local areas, and the impact their commitment to the campaign will have should not be underestimated.
“I know Blackburn Rovers have already been vocal in their support for White Ribbon, and I hope other clubs across Lancashire will now take this opportunity to follow their lead, with support from White Ribbon to help them gain the sports award.”