Suffolk Football Association is adding its support to this year’s White Ribbon campaign.
Running annually from November 25th to December 10th, #WhiteRibbonSuffolk aims to stop domestic violence against women, and encourages men to take a share of the responsibility in putting an end to abuse.
By wearing a white ribbon, supporters can make it clear that domestic violence and abuse against women should never be condoned.
Suffolk FA has teamed up with a range of partners including Suffolk Sport, Ipswich Town Football Club, BBC Radio Suffolk, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk County Council and the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.
Two women in England and Wales are killed by a partner or ex-partner every week and 70% of domestic abuse incidents result in injury. Nationally, every minute police in the UK receive a domestic assistance call – yet only 35% of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police.
On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police.
Reporting domestic violence and abuse incidents to Suffolk Constabulary has increased over several years with more than 10,000 reports of Domestic Abuse over the past 12 months.
Richard Neal, Chief Executive Officer for Suffolk FA, said: “Whilst the number of reported incidents across Suffolk is shocking, it does demonstrate the increasing confidence victims have in reporting incidents and coming forward to get the help they need.
“Suffolk FA is committed to working with partners to address this, and hope all involved in local football across the county will show their support to prevent domestic abuse.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore added: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime; it ruins the lives of victims and has a devastating impact on their families, particularly as children suffer the consequences as well. No-one should have to live with the fear of violence or controlling behaviour, especially not at home.
“One of the key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is to support victims and I share the Constabulary’s commitment to tackling all forms of domestic abuse. To date I have commissioned over £2m of services to support victims of Domestic Abuse which includes providing Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and counselling, this is a key priority for me as Police and Crime Commissioner.
“It is crucially important that victims have the confidence and support they need to report domestic violence and I hope the focus of the White Ribbon campaign will give those suffering abuse the confidence to speak out.”
Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People Directorate, said: “Suffolk Constabulary supports this key annual campaign which highlights the impact that domestic abuse can have on so many lives. This year we have issued 1,000 white ribbons for officers and staff to wear to show our support and further raise awareness.
“Anybody can be affected by domestic abuse and we do not underestimate how difficult it can be for people to speak out about being a victim. You are not alone – help is a phone call away.”
Football clubs across Suffolk are being encouraged to be part of the social media campaign with players and supporters being pictured with the pledge. The national campaign can be followed at @WhiteRibbon_UK or locally by following @SuffolkFA, @SaferSuffolk or using #WhiteRibbonSuffolk
Are you a victim of domestic violence and abuse? Call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline 0808 2000 247
Are you hurting the one you love? Choose to stop. The Respect Phoneline 0808 802 4040
If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or a crime is in progress always call 999.
Pictured at the launch are, left to right, Ipswich Town player Martin Waghorn, Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal, BBC Radio Suffolk’s Cleah Hetherington, Ipswich Town Manager Mick McCarthy, Suffolk Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Rachael Kearton, Suffolk County Council Community Safety Officer Chris Woods, Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers, Suffolk Constabulary Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger and Suffolk County Council Community Safety Officer Richard Baldwin