1. Campaigners send out a clear message to travellers at Prestwick Airport - violence against women, no matter where you’re from, or going, is totally unacceptable.
The Sixteen Days of Action Campaign, which tackles violence against women had a flying start in South Ayrshire with an event at Prestwick Airport, organised by Police Scotland's Border Command Unit.
Campaigners joined members of the unit, local Councillors and airport staff to send out a clear message to travellers in and out of South Ayrshire that violence against women, no matter where you're from, or going, is totally unacceptable.
Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Eileen Taylor said: "Tackling Domestic Violence remains a high priority, both locally and nationally for Police Scotland and we continue to work with partner agencies to raise awareness of this crime and the effect it has on victims. The White Ribbon Campaign is an excellent opportunity to further raise awareness of this issue."
Men were encouraged to sign the White Ribbon pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about men's violence against women in all its forms.
Local man, Chris Hyndes took time out from his journey to sign the pledge, as he waited to collect his bags. He said: "The White Ribbon campaign is an excellent initiative and all men should sign it.
"Every one of us has a duty to end violence against women and, in the time it takes to me to collect a bag from my flight, I've made a contribution to a worthwhile and very important global campaign."
Locally, the Sixteen Days of Action campaign is being coordinated through the South Ayrshire Multi-Agency Partnership (MAP) on Violence Against Women and Children with a host of activities and promotions planned.
Immediately after the Prestwick Airport event, pupils at Prestwick Academy saw a drama premiere, 'Is This Love?' which was commissioned by South Ayrshire Women's Aid, and written by a teenage girl as a way of coping with her experiences of domestic abuse.
The hard hitting play showed how abuse could be present among teenagers in relationships and encouraged pupils to speak out against abuse.
Councillor Ann Galbraith, Chair of the Multi Agency Partnership (MAP) to tackle violence against women and children, said: "The play was excellent for all the right reasons and showed, graphically, just how destructive abuse can be to a young person in their first, or a new relationship.
"It's particularly apt, as this year, the campaign has a focus towards young people, but the message is still exactly the same – violence against women is unacceptable in all its forms."
"More than ever before, we're determined to eliminate it so that no-one should ever experience the horror of domestic abuse."
Until 10 December, South Ayrshire Council will be supporting and promoting the campaign with:
- Football project in Kyle Academy - fathers and sons taking part in a five a side match, standing together to say no to domestic abuse
- High profile banners at rugby clubs
- A special showing of the anti-stalking film 'Friend Request' in local schools (written and produced by senior pupils from South Ayrshire schools)
- Advertising and publicity in licensed premises
- A seminar for staff on the theme of sexual exploitation
- Information visits to schools and nurseries promoting the white ribbon campaign
- A projection onto the wall of the Gaiety Theatre.
In addition, the South Ayrshire Licensing Board is encouraging local licensed premises, particularly pubs and clubs, to get involved in the campaign.
Councillor Galbraith continued: "I'd urge anyone who knows of abuse happening, or who is being abused, either physically or psychologically, to get in touch – there are a host of options to help you out of your situation.
"Turn a blind eye to it and you become just as culpable as those who commit the abuse.
"Practical, confidential support is available and we all need to work together to tackle this issue head on and make sure it has no place in our society."
For further information on the White Ribbon Campaign and the 16 Days of Action, visit: www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/whiteribboncampaign
To sign the pledge and make your own commitment to ending violence against women and children, visit www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk.