Suffolk Constabulary is supporting White Ribbon Day, an annual event that marks the United Nations International Day for the elimination of violence against women and girls.
The White Ribbon Day campaign runs from 25th November to 10th December and aims to end male violence against women and girls by engaging with men and boys and promoting positive action to make a stand against violence. Over these 16 days, Suffolk Police will be raising awareness of the issues and impact of violence and abuse, and sharing details of the support, advice and help that is available. For police staff and officers, there will be a series of internal messages shared across the organisation to raise understanding of the campaign and to educate about related issues.
The constabulary has teamed up with Suffolk County Council, the East of England Co-Op and Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC) to support the campaign across our communities. A White Ribbon public engagement stand will be staffed by police and staff at various events and locations across the county throughout the campaign, offering advice and information to members of the public. These include at the FanZone at Ipswich Town Football Club yesterday, Tuesday 23 November, and at the East Coast College in Lowestoft to mark the start of White Ribbon Day on Thursday 25 November. Officers will also be engaging with churches, foodbanks, food processing factories and support charities to in order to widen awareness of White Ribbon and encourage the reporting of domestic violence and abuse.
Officers are also working with Suffolk County Council to roll out the White Ribbon Youth Advocate scheme in schools and other educational settings across the county. The programme aims to engage with young people, particularly boys, to teach them that certain behaviours, language and attitudes are unacceptable.
Superintendent Kerry Cutler said: “I believe that women and children in Suffolk should feel safe whether they are at home or not.”
Last year Suffolk Police launched the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Unit (DAPU), which provides one-to-one support with domestic abuse offenders to address and alter their behaviour, protect victims and reduce demand on the constabulary. Working directly with offenders enables DAPU officers and staff to take a detailed look at that person’s life, including housing, addiction and any mental health diagnoses, and understand their actions to help them make a positive change.
Domestic abuse affects thousands of women and their families which, in many cases, has been exacerbated due to lockdown restrictions. Every week there are over 100 children and young people in Suffolk alone affected by incidents of domestic abuse where the police have to be called. This sobering data has been gathered from Operation Encompass, which allows the police and our partners to tell schools about any child or young person who has been involved in an incident of domestic abuse or violence at home. It enables the school to provide appropriate help and support to their pupils who are living with domestic abuse.
The national campaign can be followed at @WhiteRibbon_UK, #MakeThePromise, #AllMenCan or #WhiteRibbon. Locally, it can be followed via #Suffolk16DaysofAction
For help and advice you can contact police by dialling 101 or visit our website www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/assault-abuse-threats/domestic-abuse
Are you a victim of domestic violence and abuse? Call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline 0808 2000 247; or the Suffolk Domestic Abuse helpline – freephone 24/7 – 0800 977 5690
Are you hurting the one you love? Choose to stop. The Respect Phone line 0808 802 4040
If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or a crime is in progress always call Police 999.