Gillingham FC proudly becomes the first Football League Club to support The White Ribbon Campaign.
White Ribbon is a charity that encourages organisations and individuals to promote anti-violence against women and girls. The campaign recruits men to act as an Ambassador to promote anti-violence and make a positive influence on men in the community by saying ‘no’ to domestic abuse.
Gillingham FC Chairman Paul Scally and Manager Justin Edinburgh have made the historic step as the first Chairman and First Team Manager from the Football League to sign up to become Ambassadors for White Ribbon.
Saturday's game is dedicated to raising awareness of the cause they are both championing.
Gillingham FC is proud to work in conjunction with Medway Council who have recently achieved the White Ribbon Award – pledging their commitment against domestic abuse. An Action Plan was developed via Medway’s Community Safety Partnership setting out their goals in campaigning about domestic abuse.
• Each year around 2.1 million people suffer Domestic abuse in some form, including emotional, mental, physical, sexual and financial abuse.
• 2 women a week are killed by a partner or former partner
• A victim can suffer 35 incidents of violence before contacting the police
• 62% of children living with domestic abuse are directly harmed
• Last year there were 887,000 police recorded incidents in England and Wales.
• In Medway, there are over 5,000 police recorded incidents of domestic abuse a year.
• Medway’s One Stop Shop supports over 500 victims a year with support
Chairman Paul Scally admitted he was shocked when he heard the figures propelling White Ribbon’s work.
“When meeting with White Ribbon I was deeply concerned by the figures and reports they informed me of. To learn of both the psychological and physical abuse inflicted upon women across the country and within our local community was troubling. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed.”
“I’m pleased both Justin and I are able to become ambassadors and lend the football club’s support to White Ribbon. We’re delighted to be welcoming other ambassadors from the programme to our match including Cllr Andrew Mackness, Cllr Mike O’Brien as well as our local MP Rehman Chishti.”
“We’re also pleased to have Detective Inspector Ian Dyball from Kent Police with us and Dr Alison Barnett, Director of Public Health and Aelish Geldenhuys, Senior Public Health Manager at Medway Council. I’d also like to extend my thanks to Neil Howlett and Debee Simpson for their help and support co-ordinating our collaboration.”
Partner agencies in Medway including the Council and Police are committed to providing support, to give victims the confidence to report and to hold perpetrators to account. Medway’s Community Safety Partnership have domestic abuse as a priority to encourage further reporting and supporting victims and their children to a life free from violence.
Together with the Kent & Medway Domestic Abuse Strategy Group they have developed a website, dedicated to offer support and guidance, www.domesticabuseservices.org not only for victims but for perpetrators, young people and professionals.
Gillingham Ladies will also be in attendance on Saturday afternoon helping fundraise for White Ribbon. All money raised from their bucket collection will support the Medway Domestic Abuse Forum which is raising money to support victims in crisis to leave abusive men.
To learn more about The White Ribbon Campaign please visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk you can also follow the campaign on Twitter by following @menantiviolence