Wednesday 25 Nov 2020
Network Rail partners with White Ribbon UK to help tackle domestic abuse
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Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s rail network, has been approved as a White Ribbon UK-accredited organisation, demonstrating its commitment to encouraging collective action to change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse or violence against women.
Since the lockdown began in March 2020, reports of domestic abuse in the UK have increased dramatically, 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 today (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 said: “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.”
Passengers journeys have reduced by approximately 70% due to the coronavirus pandemic, but hundreds of thousands of people are travelling every day. If you need help, you can ask at any of Network Rail’s 20 managed stations.
You can make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women and sign up to be a White Ribbon Ambassador at https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/
Notes to editors
The rail industry is supporting the Rail to refuge scheme, launched in March 2020 by Women’s Aid, which provides free rail travel for survivors with a refuge space. For more information on the scheme and how it works, please visit the Rail to refuge FAQs.
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.