Standing up against domestic violence

A scene of domestic violence (posed by models)
A scene of domestic violence (posed by models)

ST Helens men are being challenged to stand up and be counted in a bid to end domestic violence against women.

St Helens Council has teamed up with Saints star Paul Wellens to highlight the issue in the run up to this year’s White Ribbon Day – Sunday 25 November.

A week of action is planned locally (19 to 25 November), entitled ‘Seven Days – Seven Ways You Can Make a Change’.

One of the easiest ways men can make a difference is by signing this year’s online pledge (www.sthelens.gov.uk/whiteribbon ). Those signing the pledge will be in with a chance of winning Saints’ skipper Paul’s 2012 shirt - signed and framed.

White Ribbon Day is organised by the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) - the UK branch of the global campaign to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection and Safer Communities Councillor Richard McCauley said: “In St Helens there are over 4,000 domestic abuse calls are made to the police every year – which is completely unacceptable.

“Although both men and women can be victims - and our Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy service supports both males and females - women are far more likely to suffer multiple incidents of abuse and sexual violence. Around one in four women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.”

As part of the week-long campaign, the council’s Youth Service is also hosting a Youth Domestic Violence Conference at St Helens Town Hall - exploring the impact of abuse in teenage relationships. The event includes drama productions, workshops and an educational DVD for schools.

Other organisations and companies are also highlighting the issue with their own events. The Arena/Your Housing Group is staging ‘Walk a Mile in her Shoes’ – involving volunteers walking in heels from St Helens Town Hall to ASDA on 22 November.

ASDA is also providing £200 worth of funding from the ASDA Foundation, to buy mobile phones for victims of domestic violence. The potentially lifesaving devices were selected following a public vote as part of the ASDA Foundation’s Chosen by you...Given by us programme.

Support the campaign - how men can make a difference

l Make your pledge - visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/whiteribbon .

l Lead by example - question your own attitudes and behaviour.

l Wear a white ribbon - show your support for National White Ribbon Day on Sunday 25 November 2012.

l T rust your gut - don’t ignore it, report it. Call Merseyside Police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency).

l Speak out - if you know a woman who is being domestically abused let her know you are concerned and want to help.

l Respect women - if you’ve ever been violent towards a woman, call the Respect helpline on 0808 802 4040.

For help and support for women and men - contact the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy on 01744 743200.