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Tackling domestic and sexual abuse in Norfolk is ‘everyone’s business’ this White Ribbon Day and beyond

Partners across the county are continuing to work together in a bid to show tackling domestic and sexual abuse is ‘everyone’s business’ in Norfolk.

This White Ribbon Day 2022 members of the *Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Group (DASVG) are joining forces to push home the message such abuse has no place in Norfolk while ensuring anyone affected has access to the right help and support.

This year, the annual event – led by White Ribbon UK - falls on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup and the charity are urging people to come together, work as a team and achieve #TheGoal of ending male violence against women and girls.

Locally members of the DASVG, made up of councils, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN), police and health organisations – are lending their support to the campaign with a strategic aim to address domestic abuse and sexual violence in Norfolk.

Chief Superintendent Andy Coller, co-chair of the DASVG and head of Safeguarding and Investigations, at Norfolk Constabulary, said: “There has never been a better time for organisations to come together and show their commitment to tackling domestic and sexual abuse in Norfolk.

“As individual organisations we can all play our part in ensuring those affected by such abuse have access to the help and support they deserve when taking brave steps to reach out.

“However, it is when we work together as one, we can truly make a difference, not just in helping support those directly affected but spreading the message to perpetrators that such behaviour will not be tolerated in Norfolk.

“Tackling domestic and sexual abuse is everyone’s business in Norfolk – not just on White Ribbon Day but 365 days of the year.”

The partnership approach….

In Norfolk the DASVG launched the HEAR campaign in November 2020 to encourage employers to sign a vital pledge agreeing to support employees affected by domestic abuse – dozens of organisations across Norfolk have committed their support.

Earlier this year, the group, rolled out the Government’s ‘Enough’ campaign to end violence against women and girls, locally. Posters condemning harassment in the street, unwanted touching and promoting how everyone can help to reduce violence in Norfolk appeared on buses in Norwich and Great Yarmouth and bus shelters in these areas as well as King’s Lynn.

Thousands of leaflets have also been sent out by Adult Services at Norfolk County Council to carers across the county to highlight the signs of domestic abuse, particularly involving older people, and show where help is available.

Other partners, such as the charity Leeway, are working with schools to highlight the impact that domestic abuse has on children and encourage healthy relationships among young people, while Breckland Council are running domestic abuse awareness raising sessions among staff.

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

During this time, DASVG partners in Norfolk will be using the strapline ‘tackling domestic and sexual abuse in Norfolk is #EveryonesBusiness’ on social media accounts to show cross-county support.

Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, said: “Domestic abuse impacts the lives of so many people, which is why we believe that it is in everyone’s interests to do their bit to tackle it.

“There has been a lot of excellent work going on across the county, as well as positive steps nationally, with the Domestic Abuse Act becoming law last year. It is important that we don’t rest on this progress though and continue to strive to raise awareness of domestic abuse, whilst also ensuring that those experiencing it receive the best possible support.

“We look forward to working with partners during White Ribbon Day and the 16 days of action that follow, as well as throughout the year, sending out a strong message that domestic abuse is not tolerated in Norfolk.”

As part of White Ribbon Day, White Ribbon UK encourages all men to make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women.

Visit White Ribbon UK

*The DASVG is made up of councils, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN), police and health organisations – all with a strategic aim to address domestic abuse and sexual violence in Norfolk. It supports the delivery of Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership (NCCSP) objectives.

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 here >>