CHURCH leaders of all the main denominations in Cumbria are supporting a campaign to end violence against women.

White Ribbon Day on Monday (November 25) is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It marks the start of 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

At a recent joint meeting all the leaders signed up to the White Ribbon Pledge. It reads: “I pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women in all its forms.”

Most signed the pledge through the First Man Standing website run by Restored, an international Christian alliance working with churches to help them respond appropriately to domestic violence.

The Rt Rev Robert Freeman, Bishop of Penrith, said: "I am really pleased to support the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. Fifty-eight other bishops across the Church of England will also be wearing a white ribbon to show their concern for what is a disturbing but often unspoken issue in society.

“All domestic violence is wrong. However, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of domestic violence is by men against women, and is often behind closed doors within our families.

“Men need to increasingly be clear that they stand against all gender-based violence, and we all need to empower and support women and all survivors of abuse and violence, by becoming visible in standing against gender-based violence in all its forms.

The White Ribbon Pledge has been signed by the following Cumbria Church leaders: Bill Bewley, representative of Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) The Rev Andrew Dodd, Network Minister for Cumbria, North West Baptist Association The Rt Rev Michael Campbell, Bishop of Lancaster, Roman Catholic Church Rev Richard Church, NW Synod Moderator, United Reformed Church The Rt Rev Robert Freeman, Bishop of Penrith, Church of England Major Drew McCombe, Divisional Leader, Salvation Army NW Division The Rev Sarah Moore, Cumbria Area President, United Reformed Church The Rt Rev James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, Church of England The Rev Richard Teal, Chair, Cumbria Methodist District It follows their long support for a county partnership project also highlighting the prevalence and impact of domestic abuse. The scheme, run between Churches Together in Cumbria, Letgo and Safer Cumbria, provides training for clergy and pastoral carers.