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White Ribbon Day 2023

PSA Gender Inclusion Representative Sara Crane, has shared a blog to mark White Ribbon Day 2023:

"As the gender lead for the Police Superintendents’ Association, my role is to represent members affected by any issues connected to gender, and to raise awareness and understanding of these issues within policing to support positive change.
White Ribbon Day is therefore extremely relevant for us, and a national awareness day that is closely linked to policing and all it’s about for so many reasons.
White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. Forces across the UK will be joining in efforts to promote its crucial messages, seeking to change cultures, ‘norms’ and systems than have enabled the perpetuation of violence against women and girls within society for so long.
Police have such a crucial role within this, but our role is complex and has become more so over time as more people have had the courage to speak out about their experiences with and within the police service.

We know that some communities don’t feel that police do enough to proactively tackle violence against women and girls, and that many women and girls do not feel the confidence they need to reach out and ask us for help. I find that tragic.  We also know that some of our own female officers and staff would not report being a victim of domestic abuse or assault for fear of the stigma, and impact of what their revelation would bring. This becomes even more stark when the perpetrator is a police officer themselves.

This must change.

As a female senior police officer, and as a mother.  These issues run deep with me personally, and I am 100% committed to doing all I can in this role to help change the story – the very theme of this year’s White Ribbon Campaign.

At our recent conference, we discussed the notion of ‘inclusive culture’ and shared a video of superintendents telling their stories of discrimination in the workplace. The stories our female colleagues shared around being given male names, being told they were only given a promotion because they were a woman, having to breast feed in a toilet, all these lived experiences add to a culture which de-values women and arguably contributes to a culture that sees the perpetuation of violence against women, shrouded in a fear to speak out.

Despite national efforts to address this over a number of years, progress is slow, and when it is rooted in culture this is inevitable.  Changing the story is about a whole system approach, from education – talking to young people about healthy relationships, respect, and equality, to health – looking at the wider vulnerability issues that can play a part in violence and abuse, and of course policing as a system.  Our culture must and will change to enable us to be part of this positive story, and for women and girls both in and out of policing to have the trust and faith in their police service that they deserve.  I’m one of thousands of police officers both female and male who are committed to doing everything in their power to ensuring this is the case."

More information on White Ribbon Day can be found at: White Ribbon Day 2023 — White Ribbon UK