During the recent football World Cup, Maidstone Borough Council tackled sport-related domestic abuse with its White Ribbon campaign. Our Community Protection team discovered that incidents of violence towards women rise steeply during major sporting events, and determined to act, they partnered with organisations such as Kent Police and Kent County Council to both change behaviours, and support victims.
Local entertainment venues endorsed the initiative, with town centre bars and pubs such as the Brenchley, Source Bar, Bar 6, Ashes Sports Bar, the Style & Winch and the Duke of Marlborough selling campaign badges, collecting donations and displaying posters, with particular emphasis on spreading the message during live showings of World Cup matches.
MBC staff arranged an awareness-building event in Jubilee Square, in collaboration with local artist Bobby Duncan. The founder of Do Your Bit encouraged passers-by to get involved by leaving their hand prints on his car in paint, a visual representation of saying stop! to hurting others. Funds raised on the day by football themed games were donated to local refuge charity Choices.
The ambassador for this ongoing project is Councillor Matt Burton, who feels passionately about eradicating abuse against all residents in the borough of Maidstone, during the World Cup and beyond.
To take the pledge, and commit to speaking out about and putting an end to domestic abuse, visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk/pledge]
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