Suffolk Constabulary pledges support to White Ribbon Day campaign


White Ribbon 2021

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 25 November to 10 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: “By engaging with education settings, our aim is to encourage children and young people to challenge their own behaviour, as well as call out on unacceptable behaviour from others when they see it, and to educate them of their responsibility to create and make long-lasting change for future generations. The White Ribbon campaign is a reminder that everyone has a role to play in recognising and taking a stand against all violence and abuse. 

“At Suffolk Police, we pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. Our officers are dedicated to building safer communities and it’s important that we use this time to raise awareness about where people in Suffolk can go for help and advice if they are experiencing violence or are concerned about someone.

“For those who want help to change violent behaviour, there is support available. Domestic abuse can have a long-lasting effect on the victims and impacts the whole family. There is simply no excuse for domestic abuse and we urge perpetrators to make the right choice and choose to stop. The Respect Phoneline offers confidential advice and support to help encourage change and stop abusive behaviour.

“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.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said, “Since becoming PCC, I have spent time talking and listening to those who support people affected by domestic abuse and I have been utterly shocked by the extent of this problem.  Through my commissioning my office funds a large number of organisations which support victims of this terrible crime and we also fund perpetrator projects to help violent men change their behaviour which has proved extremely 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 stay 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 this dreadful crime. I urge you – if you see or hear it, please don’t ignore it.”The national campaign can be followed at @WhiteRibbon_UK #MakeThePromise #AllMenCan or #WhiteRibbon. Locally, it can be followed via #Suffolk16DaysofActionFor help and advice you can contact police by dialling 101 or visit our website www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/assault-abuse-threats/domestic-abuseAre 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 5690Are you hurting the one you love? Choose to stop. The Respect Phone line 0808 802 4040If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or a crime is in progress always call Police 999.

Useful links:

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

Suffolk Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 977 5690 Freephone 24/7 | Community DirectoryAnyone 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] further information, support and advice visit: www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/assault-abuse-threats/rapewww.survivorsint… Survivors in Transition - Specialist support in Suffolk for female and male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, violence and exploitationwww.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