Decision details

White Ribbon Plan and New Strategy

Decision status: Recommendations Approved



The Director of Operational Services presented a report setting out the background to the White Ribbon campaign and the Council’s involvement in the campaign to date.


The report sets out the Council’s proposed Action Plan for activities to promote the national White Ribbon Campaign which aims to end violence against women and girls. The Action Plan will be submitted to the White Ribbon Campaign to secure the accreditation of Sheffield City Council as an organisation and confirm the whole Council commitment to taking action to end violence against women and girls




RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Strategy and Resources Policy Committee approves the Council’s White Ribbon Action Plan to be submitted to White Ribbon UK for the purposes of seeking White Ribbon accreditation.



Reasons for Decision




Both men and women can use violence in their families, relationships or in the community. All violence is unacceptable. But the behaviour that leads to male violence against women is a specifically gendered problem rooted in discrimination and prejudice. White Ribbon is trying to deal with this specific problem.




·       Around 6000 people seek support from domestic abuse services in Sheffield each year, and around 90% of them are women.  

·       The Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service sees over 600 clients a year and 87% are women and girls.

·       There have been 19 deaths in Sheffield since 2011 that have met the criteria for a statutory Domestic Homicide Review (including suicides) – 16 of these were women and in 17 of these deaths the abuser was a man.




We know that much violence against women and girls is not reported or disclosed to agencies and sadly for some it is part of everyday life, something they just put up with. This could range from street harassment, or sexual harassment at work to rape. The problem does not stop with physical violence. It includes other forms of emotional violence and psychological – from sexist joking, to sexual harassment at work, to other domineering forms of behaviour. By remaining silent about these things, some men are allowed to poison our communities and working and learning environments.




Alternatives Considered and Rejected




White Ribbon is the only accreditation process focussing on violence against women and girls for local authorities. The alternatives were to do nothing or to develop our own framework.




Doing nothing is not an option given the increasing focus on ending violence against women and girls in recent years following high profile deaths, prominent agencies and organisations being found wanting in their responses, and scandals involving public personas. Having already signed up to be a White Ribbon registered organisation, the Council needs to develop and deliver a plan to meet this commitment and become White Ribbon accredited.




Developing our own framework would be more resource intensive and less effective when there is a ready made campaign that is supported by many local authorities and other organisations across the country and internationally.


Report author: Alison Higgins

Publication date: 14/11/2023

Date of decision: 18/10/2023

Decided at meeting: 18/10/2023 - Strategy and Resources Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: