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National mark for work to protect women and girls

Waltham Forest’s efforts to tackle all forms of gender-based abuse have been recognised by organisers of a national campaign to end violence against women and girls.

The CEO of White Ribbon Campaign UK, Chris Green, paid a visit to Waltham Forest Town Hall earlier this month to officially award the borough White Ribbon status.

This accreditation formally recognises the work carried out by the Council and local partners, including Waltham Forest Police and Leyton Orient Football Club, to raise awareness about gender-based violence and abuse and encourage members of the community to take a stand against it.

Waltham Forest’s White Ribbon status will be marked by ‘16 Days of Activism’ in the borough – ensuring as many local people and businesses as possible are given opportunities to learn about and get involved with the campaign.

Cllr Liaquat Ali MBE JP, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, said: “We want to send a clear message that violence and abuse – whatever form it takes – cannot be condoned.

“We’re proud to support the White Ribbon campaign and hope that the activities and events we have planned in the weeks ahead will encourage local people to show their support and help bring an end to gender-based violence.”

Starting on Monday, 25 November, ‘16 Days of Activism’ will begin with an awareness-raising event for young people at Waltham Forest College. There will also be a short campaign video featuring Leyton Orient players uploaded to the club’s, Council’s and White Ribbon’s websites, along with YouTube.

Waltham Forest Council’s homepage – – will be displaying the White Ribbon logo, the official symbol of the global campaign to end violence against women and girls. This symbol will also feature on the sides of all of the London Fire Brigade’s engines in the borough and on Saturday 13 December, Leyton Orient FC’s first team players will wear White Ribbon t-shirts prior to their home game against Peterborough.

Between 25 November and 10 December there will be various activities taking place across Waltham Forest, including information events, a forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) awareness-raising event at the Town Hall and engagement sessions with the borough’s older residents.

Finally, the activities will end with a public Q&A session, where residents and businesses will be able to question Cllr Karen Bellamy, the Council’s Junior Lead Member for Domestic Violence, Borough Commander for Waltham Forest, Chief Superintendent Mark Collins and representatives from Health and Education about the work being done to combat all forms of violence and abuse.

The White Ribbon campaign was originally set up by a group of men in Canada in 1991, and the Council has set up its own anti-Violence Against Women and Girls pledge. Since November last year, hundreds of local men have signed the pledge to demonstrate that they will “never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women”.

For more information about the campaign visit To learn about the work of the Council’s community safety team visit

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