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Portsmouth White Ribbon group takes to the streets and celebrates 10 years of saying NO to violence against women.
They'll be celebrating their 10th year on 25th November with their annual ‘Reclaim the night’ March.
Reclaim the Night is a symbolic march in which women and men take to thestreets to enable women to reclaim the streets at night in safety. The march begins at 7.30 at the Spinnaker Tower and ends with a powerful closing rally in the Guildhall Square with music and speeches.
Numbers attending the March have risen year on year, with over 500 men,women and children attending last year’s Reclaim the Night. Hundreds of participants are expected to take part this year.
Kirsty Dillon, star of ITV’s Midsomer Murders, who is an active supporter of Portsmouth’s White Ribbon campaign said,
“Women should be able to walk without fear for their safety on any nightof the year, of course, but we all know that doesn’t happen. Women are not only in danger on the streets, they are often in danger from violence in their own homes, and the White Ribbon campaign exists to raise awareness of exactly that.”
Portsmouth has played an active part in the international White Ribbon campaign for the last ten years. In 2010, Leader of the Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson led a local ceremony to accept the status of ‘White Ribbon City’for Portsmouth, in recognition of the local community’s response to violence against women.
The March is part of the broader White Ribbon publicity campaign,which encourages local men across the city to speak out and take a pledge: “neverto commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.”
The campaign culminates on White Ribbon Day (25 November)each year, when men and women across Portsmouth are called to wear a white ribbon or wristband as a visual symbol of their commitment and pledge.
Players from Portsmouth Football Club are long standing supporters of the campaign and will be joining White Ribbon to take the pledge on 17th November. Several team members will take the pledge on the day as a public gesture of the Club’s support for the campaign.
In addition to the March, Portsmouth’s White Ribbon group is also organising a Comedy Night benefit at the Wedgewood Rooms on Thursday 8th December. Tickets are on sale now at £10 each, and organisers are hoping that local businesses and groups will consider the night as an alternative to their usual Christmas celebrations.
Chair of the White Ribbon Group, Kirsty Mellor said,
“We really want to put the ‘fun’ in ‘fundraising’ this year! The Comedy Night will be a perfect Christmas night out for everyone, and we’re hoping it will put an even bigger smile on people’s faces to know that all profits from the night will be going to local services that support women experiencing violence.”
She continued, “In 2011, it is appalling that women are still experiencing violence on the streets and in their homes, but I’m so proud to come from a city that stands against this. Every year the men and women of Portsmouth have joined us to say this must stop. Real men don’t hurt women,they stand alongside them pledging never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.”