A charity has endorsed the council’s efforts to tackle violence against women and girls.

Wokingham Borough Council leaders announced they had received White Ribbon accreditation on Tuesday, November 14.

Council leader Stephen Conway said he hoped the council could be a “role model in tackling violence against women and girls".

The White Ribbon charity only grants accreditation means the council had adopted a three-year action plan against violence against women and girls, drawn up with the charity.

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The council agreed to seek accreditation in 2022, as part of its own plan to end violence against women and girls in the borough.

Its leaders adopted a plan, spearheaded by councillor Sarah Kerr, in September this year. Speaking at the time councillor Kerr said adopting the strategy was important partly because many survivors don’t feel confident to report violence and abuse to authorities.

She also said the council needed a culture where sexist behaviour is challenged rather than tolerated, ignored or encouraged. She said: “A lot of time women and girls fear going to the authorities because they are not always believed.”

Councillor Conway said: “It’s vital that those impacted by violence against women and girls have access to the support that they need, but it’s also vital that we take a long term approach encouraging all men to take responsibility for their actions, and supporting them to call out harassing and sexist behaviour when they see it.

“By challenging long-established attitudes and behaviours we want to prevent violence before it happens.”