Bishop says, "Enough is enough" on male violence towards women

First published on: 27th November 2021

Bishop Simon joins Keith Berry, (Community Engagement Officer at the Diocese of Rochester), and The Mayor of Tonbridge Cllr Roger Roud at an event on Tonbridge High Street, They hold a big white ribbon to reflect the White Ribbon campaign,The Bishop of Tonbridge, the Rt Rev Simon Burton-Jones, took to Tonbridge High Street, on Thursday 25 November, as part of an event to raise awareness of the issue of male violence against women.

The event was part of White Ribbon Day, a global initiative calling for an end to male violence against women. White Ribbon Day leads immediately into the UN's 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

Bishop Simon said that new figures shared by the ONS on Wednesday show the scale of the problem of violence and harassment towards women:

"An estimated 1.6 million women between the ages of 16 and 74 in the last year in England and Wales have experienced domestic abuse, and 1 in 3 women over the age of 16 have experienced sexual harassment or harassment of another nature in that time. 

"That shows the scale of the problem that we're dealing with surrounding violence and harassment towards women.

"We have to talk about this, we have to get out there and share this with other people and we have to say, enough is enough.

"And the more frequently we are saying that out there, the more likely this is going to get into public conversation and ultimately start to change cultures."

He also encouraged men to take ownership of the problem, and take the White Ribbon promise online at,  never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence towards women.

At the event, members of the public were engaged with and stickers and leaflets were given out highlighting the campaign, as well as where to get support.

White Ribbon does recognises that violence can be perpetrated by women against men, in same-sex couples and in other settings too. It therefore signposts to the campaigns and charities that focus on these issues and victims, and which are very helpful in those circles. Find out more here

Also in attendance were:

  • Local domestic abuse charities
  • The Mayor of Tonbridge Cllr Roger Roud and the Mayoress Mrs Pam Roud
  • The Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough  Council, Cllr Matt Boughton
  • Keith Berry, Community Engagement Officer at the Diocese of Rochester
  • Jonathan Arnold, Communities and Partnerships Director of Canterbury Diocese

Both the Diocese of Rochester (which covers the Church of England in Medway, north and west Kent, and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley), and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, are official partners with White Ribbon UK.

As part of the Diocese's support of White Ribbon UK, Bishop Simon had additionally shared a message with churches before the day, to encourage them in their support for the campaign:

"I don’t find this an easy thing, talking about the safety of women, because I am not a woman and only experience this anxiety second hand through the women I know.

"But I want to do this because for too long the safety of women has been left for women to deal with and to lobby over. It is time to re-frame the security of women as an issue for men."

He continued:

"The two recent terrible and high profile murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa are evidence of a lack of public safety. They were not the first female victims of murder by a male stranger and they will sadly not be the last, but they enlarged public debate and called for a re-framing of the issue of female safety away from something that women must sort out to one that men must take responsibility for.

"To criticise women for being out alone after dark or walking in deserted places, for wearing short skirts or low tops is a judgment that protects men, as if they have no agency in the matter. Men who attack women are entirely responsible for doing so. This is where the debate should start and where it should end."

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