West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership is supporting a campaign which calls on men to take a stand against domestic violence.
The White Ribbon Campaign is an international campaign to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. Organisers say that men need to join women and women's organisations in taking action to end the problem.
Over the last 12 months, 154 cases of domestic abuse in West Lancashire have been taken to court.
The Liberty Centre – formerly known as the Domestic Violence Support Services (West Lancashire) – helped 637 women and families between April and September 2014. Many of these were referred there by the police or other agencies, while others came themselves. More than a third of them were deemed to be at a medium or high risk of domestic violence, and the centre is currently supporting 159 families.
The Liberty Centre offers a number of services to support victims of domestic violence, including a refuge for emergency accommodation, outreach services in the community, counselling, early intervention for young people whose mothers have been the victims of domestic violence, legal and welfare benefits advice and groups sessions to help victims move on. The centre’s helpline is Helpline number is 0808 100 3062.
White ribbons will be on available for a small donation from the Liberty Information Centre, Park Road, Ormskirk.
For more information on the White Ribbon Campaign please visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.
Eleanor Maddocks, chief executive of the Liberty Centre, said: “The White Ribbon Campaign is very important as it concentrates on men and asks them to support families by not condoning domestic violence. This isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a men’s issue, it’s a society issue and campaigns against it need support from everyone.
“I am very pleased the West Community Safety Partnership is supporting the campaign as it needs support from all agencies to get the message across.”
Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Domestic violence is a crime that affects all areas of society and we all have a responsibility to address this very serious issue. So wear your white ribbon with pride to support families everywhere by saying no to domestic violence,”
The White Ribbons Campaign will run concurrently with the United Nations’ 16 Days of Action campaign, which is supported by people around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.
This is supported in the United Kingdom by Women’s Aid and runs from 25 November, which is the UN’s International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign spans these 16 Days in order to highlight the link between violence against women and human rights.
Dave Tilleray, chairman of the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: “The partnership is happy to support the White Ribbon Campaign and we hope men will make their stand to condemn violence against women.”
West Lancashire Police Inspector Christina Shorrock said: “Tackling domestic abuse, regardless of whether the victim is a man, woman or child, is a priority for Lancashire Constabulary and as a force we have continued to invest in this area. We have dedicated, specialist staff who are completely committed to keeping victims of domestic abuse safe. Lancashire also benefits from outstanding partnership support, in particular with the numbers of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) who work across the county assisting the Constabulary to safeguard victims and their families.
“Domestic abuse can affect anyone and is often seen as a hidden crime. Many assume it’s just about violence, but it isn’t, it covers any type of physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence or control. The effects of domestic abuse can be devastating but we want people to know that help is out there. We will continue to work with our partners in order to provide the best possible service we can to victims of this devastating crime and we would always encourage anybody who is a victim to contact us on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”