Rotherham has been awarded ‘White Ribbon’ status in recognition of its effort to tackle domestic abuse in the town.
The White Ribbon campaign is an international movement created by men, for men, who pledge to work together to end violence against women.
South Yorkshire Police, Rotherham Council, Rotherham United and Integrated Youth Support Services submitted a successful bid for White Ribbon status on behalf of Rotherham’s Violent Crime Forum and Domestic Abuse Group.
An ongoing commitment of communities, businesses and partners to tackling domestic abuse must be demonstrated.
Chief Inspector Ian Womersley said: “Achieving White Ribbon status is a fantastic step forward for Rotherham and recognises the brilliant work that the police and other agencies are doing to combat this crime.
“Through our partnership working, we are able to provide safeguarding and support to vulnerable victims, as well as managing offenders appropriately in a bid to change their behaviour and prevent them re-offending.
A two-week programme of events from 25 November is planned, including a ‘Rock Against Domestic Abuse’ concert and a ‘White Ribbon’ football match between RUFC and Notts Forest.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said: “I congratulate the town of Rotherham and everyone involved in leading to the award of White Ribbon status.
“I said when I was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner that I would ensure that we had a comprehensive strategy for tackling all types of violence against women and girls and look forward to working with partners to implement this.
“For 10 years I supported a refuge for women and understand very well how domestic abuse can be found in all social groups and among people of all ages.
“White Ribbon Status clearly demonstrates how everyone is dedicated to working with victims and offenders to stop those at risk being harmed.”
Councillor John Doyle, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, has been awarded the status of ‘Ambassador’ for the campaign.
He added: “Domestic violence is totally unacceptable and its impact can be devastating.
“The only way to successfully deal with it is to get people talking about it, remove the stigma of domestic violence and show the people whose lives have been destroyed by it that the support is out there for them.
“Achieving the White Ribbon status clearly shows that partner organisations are committed to tackling all aspects of domestic abuse, and the causes behind it.
“During White Ribbon Week and beyond that dedication will continue, with everyone working together to support victims and eradicate domestic abuse by transforming the way organisations and individuals think about, prevent and respond to it.”
A spokesman for Rotherham United Football Club said: “We are privileged to be involved at the forefront of such a crucial campaign for our wonderful town which we represent on a national level week in week out.
“We believe that the time is now to stand up to the heinous crimes that have been reported and make a stand against those perpetrators.
“As a football club we believe we have the power to influence our community and encourage not only our supporters to back the White Ribbon campaign, but those from within the football family and stand up against any type of violence towards one another.”