Organisations across Suffolk wore their white ribbon with pride this afternoon, as the county began 16 days of action to help end domestic abuse.
The international White Ribbon Campaign, which launched today (November 25) and runs until December 10, asks its supporters to wear a white ribbon, sending a clear message that domestic abuse should never be condoned.
It also encourages men to promise to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about male violence against women, with this year’s theme centring on #AllMenCan following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard in March and conversations this prompted.
Councillors and staff from Suffolk County Council made the promise and pledged their support today, along with the Police and Crime Commissioner, domestic abuse charities, and representatives from Suffolk Constabulary and the county’s Community Safety Partnerships.
This marked the start of 16 days of action by the council – including community outreach projects with local schools and foodbanks – as it seeks to raise awareness of the help available for victim-survivors of domestic abuse.
Data published recently by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has highlighted the importance of this, following a 6% increase in domestic abuse during the year ending March 2021, with 845,734 domestic abuse-related crimes being recorded nationally in this timeframe.
There was also a 22% increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England during this period.
Councillor Andrew Reid, cabinet member for Public Health, Public Protection and Communities commented:
“Our council is proud to lend its support not just to this worthy campaign, but to tackling domestic abuse all year-round, as we continue to work with partners to ensure that everyone can feel safe in our communities.
“We know that this devastating crime is, sadly, on the increase nationally, making it even more timely to send a clear message that violence of this kind will not be tolerated or condoned in our county.
“I would urge all men in Suffolk to make the white ribbon promise and take a stand against domestic abuse – showing victim-survivors that they are not alone and do not need to suffer in silence anymore.”
Those wishing to pledge their support for the campaign should visit the white ribbon website, or follow Suffolk County Council’s social media channels for further information on how to get involved in the county’s 16 days of action.
Anyone who is worried that they, or someone they know, may be a victim of domestic abuse can call the Suffolk Domestic Abuse Helpline free of charge 24 hours a day on 0800 977 5690.
Perpetrators can contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040 for confidential advice on how to stop hurting the one they love.