White Ribbon is a campaign led by men to end male violence against women and girls.  The White Ribbon movement began in Canada in 1991 following a massacre of female students at a university in Montreal.  A small group of men got together and looked for a way for men to oppose violence against women.  They decided to encourage men to actively show their opposition by wearing a white ribbon.  Since then, the White Ribbon movement has developed internationally and is active in over 60 countries.

White Ribbon day is on 25 November each year, which is also the start of 16 Days of Action against domestic violence and sexual violence.  16 Days of Action ends on 10 December (Human Rights Day).

The White Ribbon Pledge

To never commit, excuse or stay silent about male violence against women


Police crime statistics between April 2017 and March 2018 identified 3268 domestic abuse incidents in Torbay.  Since April 2016, over 75% of sexual offences in Torbay have been classified as serious sexual offences with victims being overwhelmingly female.

The White Ribbon campaign acknowledges and fully appreciates that whilst men are also subject to violence in many different forms, women are disproportionately and considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  

Torbay Council is leading the way in raising awareness of violence against women and girls by becoming the first organisation in the South West to receive White Ribbon accreditation in May 2018.  The campaign recruits all year round and currently has 9 male ambassadors and 6 female champions from various local organisations. There is information on how to get involved in the How to Join section below.     

What are we doing in Torbay

White Ribbon aims to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women and girls through active community engagement.  In the first year of accreditation the Torbay White Ribbon campaign arranged local events to encourage men and boys from all walks of life and ages to make a stand.  Below are some of the events that took place.

  • Dedicated match held by Torquay United Football Club
  • Local Boxing event at Acorn Community Centre
  • Local press promotion/social media
  • Council Staff engagement
  • Torquay United Community Sports Trust attending local schools
  • Promotion of campaign through White Ribbon ‘On Tour’ banner photo opportunity
  • White Ribbon logo painted onto the grass at Princess Gardens for the duration of 16 Days of Action


How to join

Should you want to be involved in this year’s White Ribbon campaign or for further information about White Ribbon please go to www.whiteribbon.org.uk.  Any organisation can get involved and apply for their own accreditation. 

For more details on how to apply to become a male ambassador or female champion please visit:

Should you have any questions about the White Ribbon campaign in Torbay please contact Jason Preece, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Coordinator at Torbay Council.