Don’t be a bystander – Suffolk Constabulary is calling its communities to support the White Ribbon campaign

Suffolk Constabulary is calling on its communities to stand together against male violence, abuse and harassment towards women, and support White Ribbon Day on Friday 25 November.

White Ribbon Day is the United Nations international day for the elimination of violence against women, and is followed by 16 days of action to promote and encourage a culture of equality and respect.

Suffolk Constabulary is working closely with local councils, charities, retailers, bars, pubs and clubs, as well as local football clubs to raise awareness of the campaign. The White Ribbon Youth Advocate scheme will also be rolled out to schools and other educational settings across the county to communicate with young people, particularly boys, that certain behaviours, language and attitudes are unacceptable.

The aim is to encourage people to be a positive influence among their friends and communities, challenge and take action against abuse to women and girls in all its forms, whether it be intimidation, manipulation or hands-on violence. Abuse can be physical, sexual, coercive, emotional and financial.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler said: “Sexual, coercive and domestic abuse offences disproportionately affect women and girls. Ensuring they feel safe and are kept safe in Suffolk is a force priority. This requires more than just a police response; it needs a societal change and we work closely with partner agencies to effect positive change and progress in our communities. 

“The White Ribbon campaign calls on everyone – at home, work or school - to take a stand against male violence and abuse against women. Raising awareness, educating and campaigning for change is greatly strengthened by us all - men, women, young people and children - working together. We need to challenge harmful behaviour among boys and men, such as banter and intimidation, and encourage more people to be an active bystander.

“As a constabulary, we hold a continuous improvement strategy approach to improve the response to violence against women and girls. This includes specialised training for staff to improve our investigation standards and service delivery. We have also increased our use of preventative measures, in particular domestic violence protection and stalking prevention orders, to protect victims and enhance the effective prosecution of perpetrators.

“Policing will not stop after the White Ribbon campaign. We are absolutely committed to tackling all forms of abuse and pursuing perpetrators of violence towards women and girls, whilst protecting those who need our help and improving trust and confidence in reporting incidents.

“Throughout the campaign, we will be signposting on our social media the advice and support services available, including support for those who want to stop their own abusive behaviour.”

Further help and advice you can contact police by dialling 101 or visit our website https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/assault-abuse-threats

This year the FIFA World Cup falls during White Ribbon and so the national campaign is focussing on the message to unite people to work as a team to end violence against women and girls – that’s #TheGoal.

The national campaign can also be followed at @WhiteRibbon_UK, #TheGoal, #WRD22 #WhiteRibbonDay, #WhiteRibbon, #MakeThePromise, #16Days. Locally, it can be followed via #TheGoalSuffolk

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said, “Since becoming PCC, I have spent time talking and listening to those who support victims of domestic abuse and I have been utterly shocked by the extent of this terrible crime.  

“Through my commissioning my office funds a large number of organisations which support victims of abuse and we’ve also supported a perpetrator project to help violent men change their behaviour which has proved successful.

“Domestic abuse ruins the lives of victims and has a devastating impact on their families. Sadly children are often involved and can be severely traumatised with the effects staying with them for life. We need to do all we can to stop this.

“I am very proud to support the White Ribbon campaign and I’d ask everyone to join me in not condoning any violence. I urge you – if you see or hear it, please don’t ignore it. Together we must make a stand against this violence and abuse against women.”

Useful links:

Search Results | Community Directory (suffolk.gov.uk)

Suffolk Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 977 5690 Freephone 24/7 | Community Directory

Anyone who would like to speak to someone in confidence about sexual abuse or violence can contact Suffolk Police on 101, or staff at The Ferns on 0300 1235058 or via email [email protected]

For further information, support and advice visit: www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/assault-abuse-threats/rape

www.survivorsintransition.co.uk Survivors in Transition - Specialist support in Suffolk for female and male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, violence and exploitation

www.fsnb.org.uk   Fresh Start – New beginnings,  provides a therapeutic service for children and young people up to 21 years who have reported being sexually abused and to offer support for their families.

www.suffolkrapecrisis.org.uk Suffolk Rape Crisis – Support service open to females aged 14 or above who needs support following a rape or sexual assault