City leaders have made a pledge to end male violence against women, and residents are encouraged to do the same on White Ribbon Day (Saturday 25 November).

Marked annually around the world, White Ribbon Day is a global initiative to end male violence against women and calls on men to take action to make a difference.

The day marks an opportunity to raise awareness, speak out and say “no” to violence against women. People can get involved in the White Ribbon campaign by wearing a white ribbon, and signing a promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Earlier in the year the whole council committed to working to end men’s violence against women by becoming White Ribbon Accredited. As an Accredited organisation, the council will develop and deliver a comprehensive action plan to change the cultures that lead to abuse and violence and promote gender equality.

Cllr Steve Pitt Leader of the council said:

“We can all play our part in supporting White Ribbon Day, whether that be at work, school, or home; you can help raise awareness and be prepared to call out violence or abusive behaviour when you see it.

“As a White Ribbon accredited organisation, the council will continue to work to change cultures that promote and lead to violence and support the work we are doing to end violence against women and girls.”

“I have personally made the Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women, and I would encourage everyone in Portsmouth to do the same.”

Natalie Brahma-Pearl, Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council said:

“We are proud to be a White Ribbon accredited organisation.  Our commitment to White Ribbon Day is reflected in the council’s values, and our projects such as the work we are doing on Safer Streets and Safer Portsmouth.

It is important to us as an organisation that we continue to work to prevent violence against women and girls, and change the long-established and harmful attitudes, systems and behaviours around masculinity.”

Various leaders and community members from across Portsmouth have signed the White Ribbon Promise and wear the White Ribbon to show their commitment to the campaign, including Commodore John Voyce OBE ADC – Naval Base Commander, and Chief Inspector Andy McDonald. It is expected that many more will join over the coming days.

Portsmouth residents can show their support by wearing a White Ribbon and making the Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. Men are specifically encouraged to make the Promise but anyone aged 14+ can do so.

You can make the Promise here: www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse and need support, please contact Stop Domestic Abuse on 023 9206 5494 or portsmouthreferral@stopdomesticabuse.uk.

In an emergency always call 999. To report an incident, call the Police on 101 or visit www.hampshire.police.uk.