Network Rail has been approved as a White Ribbon UK-accredited organisation as part of its commitment to changing the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse or violence against women.
Reports of domestic abuse in the UK have increased dramatically since the lockdown began in March 2020, with Refuge reporting a 25 per cent increase in calls and online requests. Although domestic abuse impacts people of all genders, there is significant evidence that women are disproportionately affected.
That is why White Ribbon UK – a leading charity that works to end violence against women – has made 25 November White Ribbon Day – a day that asks men to promise never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
Nick King, director of Network Services at Network Rail, said: “We have an opportunity to make a difference. Hundreds of thousands of men work in the rail industry and we have stations and offices across the UK. We can inform and educate, as well as offer safe spaces.
“Our plans at Network Rail include developing a zero-tolerance approach to sexist or abusive behaviours for both our colleagues and our customers. We are providing training on how to spot the signs of abuse and are making sure we have the right support in place.”
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “I welcome Network Rail becoming an accredited White Ribbon UK organisation, and I am proud that the railway family is standing up and supporting those most in need.
“By taking collective action like this, including extending the rail to refuge scheme which covers the cost of travel for those escaping domestic abuse, our railways are helping raise awareness, educate people and support survivors of violence.”
Anthea Sully, chief executive of White Ribbon UK, added: “Our call to end violence by raising awareness, educating and campaigning to bring about change is greatly strengthened by working together with our White Ribbon accredited organisations. Our partners are able to engage with many thousands of people to change the cultures that lead to violence against women and girls. We are delighted to welcome Network Rail as one of our White Ribbon Accredited organisations. Together we can prevent violence happening in the first place.”