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Norfolk’s PCC joins national call to end violence against women and girls

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has today joined the tens of thousands of people across the country pledging to ‘Make The Promise’ to say no to violence against women and girls.

During White Ribbon Day (Thursday 25 November) and the 16 days following, people are being asked to make a stand and ‘promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women’.

More than 38,000 people have so far signed the Promise – launched by White Ribbon UK -and PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie is keen to lend his support and encourage others to do so.

Giles Orpen Smellie signs White Ribbon Promise“To wear a white ribbon is to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women – such a simple gesture which carries such a strong message,” said Giles.

“It is incumbent on us all to work together to protect women and girls who have a right to live their lives free from fear of violence.

“Such crimes can and do have an enormous impact on victims and as Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner I will do all I can to ensure the right resources are in place to allow officers and staff to tackle such crimes and support those most vulnerable.

“There is no quick fix, but a fix we must find to ultimately reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls and to give them the confidence to come forward and seek the help and support they may need.”

White Ribbon Day takes place on November 25 each year. This is followed by 16 Days of Action to end male violence against women.

White Ribbon UK are specifically asking men to make the Promise, however anyone over the age of 14 can take it.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN) has long commissioned and funded services dedicated to supporting victims and helping the vulnerable, including those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

Examples of recent investments include:

·        A major new service to improve support for victims of domestic abuse is to be launched in Norfolk, following an investment of more than £6million. The service, led by the OPCCN, will bring together specialist support teams to work with victims and their children across the county.

With further investments from local authorities, the Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) will see a consortium of specialist support services working together to ensure people living across the county have access to a full range of help and guidance regardless of where they live.

·        Earlier this month the OPCCN secured more than £400,000 of government funding to make Norfolk safer for women and girls. The office will work with the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership (NCCSP)* to deliver a series of measures to improve safety in three key areas in the county as well as education programmes for young people and students.

“As PCC I provide funding for many different organisations and I commission key services, such as those providing specialist support to victims of sexual and domestic abuse; those offering rehabilitation services to offenders and those who provide refuge accommodation,” added Giles.

“I am not only proud of the work my office carries out with commissioned services but of the part we play in leading the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership (NCCSP) - only by working together, can we all help make a difference.”

Mark Stokes signs White Ribbon PromiseMark Stokes, OPCCN Chief Executive and Chair of the NCCSP, has also signed the Pledge.

“Women’s experience of men’s violence is currently at the forefront of everyone’s minds,” said Mark.

“Many conversations have been opened up about men taking action and making a stand.

“I agree with Giles, while wearing a ribbon may seem a small act, it carries a strong message and I am proud join the tens of thousands who have made the vital promise to end violence against woman and girls.”

Make the Promise

How to seek help

Your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) works with a number of organisations across the county to ensure specialist support is available for those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

If you know someone who is the victim of domestic or sexual abuse, we encourage you to seek help.

The police will always respond to emergency calls - if you are in immediate danger, always call 999. Police 101 is the non-emergency number. More information on specialist support services can be found on our website here >>

*Under the current leadership of the OPCCN, the NCCSP brings together organisations from across Norfolk to tackle crime and disorder, and ensure the county remains a safe place for people to live, work and visit. The members of the Community Safety Partnership represent local councils, policing and fire services, youth offending, health and housing.