THIS year’s White Ribbon – 16 Days of Action – campaign has been deemed the most successful yet.
The event finished last Thursday with the ‘Reclaiming the Night’ walk as women, men, boys and girls walked in solidarity from the Harbour Arts Centre to the town centre.
A lone piper led the congregation and sent out a powerful message that gender inequality and violence against women are not tolerated here in North Ayrshire.
When the final pictures were taken, Councillor Ruth Maguire – chair of the Violence Against Women Partnership – was able to reflect on a campaign that sent out a powerful message.
She said: “It was another great campaign – possibly the best yet.  The ‘Reclaiming the Night’ walk was fantastic and really well attended.
“Throughout the 16 days, we’ve had brilliant backing and what has been really encouraging has been the number of local men who came forward to show their support.
“It really is important that we have that support from everyone – men and women.  It is a campaign for everyone to get behind and that message has really come across this year.
“I’d also like to thank our community partners. We have made good progress in working together to tackle violence against women across North Ayrshire. We recognise our collective responsibility in tackling violence against women in our communities and locally will continue to address the problem through a comprehensive range of innovative multi agency responses.”
North Ayrshire Council this year published its third Violence Against Women Strategy and Cllr Maguire is confident that this, along with their campaigns, will help create a more safe and secure North Ayrshire.
She added: “I’m proud to be involved in the partnership and so grateful that we have so many partners that share my passion for making North Ayrshire a safer place for all women.
“It’s not going to happen overnight but we’re making real progress every year and this latest campaign will have made another huge difference.”
During the 16 days, hundreds of men and women signed ‘The Pledge’ showing their support to ending gender inequalities and violence against all its forms.
Events were held across North Ayrshire and it’s believed the message was heard by around 30,000 local people.

Ayrshire Tornadoes Basketball Team join the campaign