We have been awarded White Ribbon Accreditation for our commitment to ending men’s violence against women in the workplace and local communities.
It was awarded by White Ribbon UK, the country’s leading charity that engages men and boys to end violence against women and girls.
This year's theme is #ChangeTheStory for women and girls.
It will highlight that it is a collective responsibility to create a world where women and girls can live free from fear of violence.
White Ribbon Accreditation is an opportunity to further make our workplace a safe place for women and men. It is also an opportunity to upskill our employees to become changemakers.
We will now look to transform our employee culture, systems, and the wider community.
To do this we have set up a White Ribbon Steering Group. The group will develop a three-year action plan.
Over the next six months, the group will focus on how to identify and root out harmful attitudes and behaviours that can lead to gender-based violence.
This leads on from the work of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which was set up by the council in April 2021.
The SAG engages with communities, groups and organisations across the county and our own workforce on the issue of public safety. It has a particular focus on women's safety.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Louise McKinlay said: “I am proud that we have been recognised for our commitment to ending violence against women and girls.
“We want every woman and girl in the county to live a life free of violence, fear and harassment.
“We know that this is not something that will be achieved overnight but changing attitudes and behaviours is key in achieving this.
“Our three-year action plan will build on the work already done by our Safety Advisory Group and will set out how we aim to address harmful attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence against women and girls."
Anthea Sully, Chief Executive of White Ribbon UK said,“White Ribbon Accredited Organisations can make a real difference towards ending violence against women by promoting a culture of respect and equality among their staff and wider communities.
“By raising awareness among employees, people can learn how to become allies and call out violent and abusive behaviour when they see it. We are delighted to welcome Essex County Council as one of our White Ribbon Accredited Organisations and are looking forward to working with them towards ending violence against women once and for all.”