A CAMPAIGN to tackle violence against women has been launched in betting shops across a Scottish city.

Betting shop staff from bookmakers William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral and Paddy Power in Aberdeen will take part in the campaign in support of White Ribbon Scotland, a charity which works with men to end gender-based violence.

The campaign is the result of an ongoing partnership between White Ribbon Scotland and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), the trade body for high street bookmakers.

The campaign involves betting shop staff asking men who enter their shops to sign the White Ribbon Scotland pledge “never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms”.

Since the partnership was launched around 3250 customers have signed the pledge in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Renfrewshire and Inverness. The partnership was recently Highly Commended in the 2019 Business Charity Awards.

The latest campaign will involve shops in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Inverurie and Stonehaven and will run until June 24 and is the biggest ever undertaken, involving almost 60 shops. Ahead of the launch, betting shop staff took part in a White Ribbon Scotland training workshop attended by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Labour MSP for North East Scotland Lewis Macdonald.

Martin said: “I welcome the campaign by bookmakers to tackle violence against women.

“Asking men to take the time and consider how their behaviour may be affecting people they know and those closest to them is incredibly important. Finding new and direct ways to do this is a huge step and I commend bookmakers for coming together to find new approaches to doing so. I’m pleased shops across the North-East are taking part including in my constituency in both Inverurie and Ellon.”

Macdonald said: “I am delighted that this scheme has been brought to Aberdeen and the North East. I hope that the bookmakers’ staff who have been involved will now feel more empowered to challenge violence towards women in their workplace and in their communities.

“This is a welcome initiative by the Association of British Bookmakers and White Ribbon Scotland, which is taking the message across Scotland that violence towards women

is unacceptable in any form.”

Davy Thompson, campaign director of White Ribbon Scotland, added: “If we are to end violence against women in Scotland it is essential that we engage men to help make the changes required. The first of these is to speak up and create an atmosphere in which it is clear it will not be tolerated and neither will the sexism and inequality which condones it. Engagement through local bookies has been shown to reach large numbers of men who step up to take the pledge.”