Play Your Part to End Domestic Abuse
South Tyneside Council is supporting a campaign aimed at eliminating abuse against women.
The White Ribbon flag is flying high above South Shields Town Hall and the clock tower will be lit up orange for 16 days of activism.
The Council is committed to achieving White Ribbon accreditation which will allow it to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to preventing male abuse against women. This will be achieved by making changes in the way priorities are determined through communications, HR policies, employee development, training, and overall organisational culture.
The Council is encouraging members of the public to wear a white ribbon in support of the campaign and to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about domestic violence against women. The ribbons are available at South Shields Town Hall Reception, Customer Services Reception, Hawthorne Reception, Middlefields Reception, South Tyneside Homes Reception, Haven Point Reception and Hebburn Central Reception.
Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between partners or family members. This can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.
As part of the 16 days of activism, an exhibition called Dresses of Sorrow will be held with each dress representing a woman's life lost at the hands of a man.
The Council has also launched its domestic abuse team, called Restart, which will both support victims of domestic abuse and work with perpetrators to change their behaviour.
Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "Tragically one in four women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime. This is simply unacceptable and, in line with our priority of supporting families and vulnerable communities, we are committed to eradicating this from our Borough.
"But we must all be part of the solution. White Ribbon Day is the perfect time to come together and say "no" to violence against women."
Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, added: "Domestic abuse can have a devastating effect on children and young people who are often left traumatised by this crime.
"We are committed to giving all our young people the best start in life and supporting families is one of our priorities. That's why we are determined to call out this type of abuse and give all our young people the opportunity to live in peaceful, stable environments."
In addition to wearing a white ribbon, people can also show their support by signing the White Ribbon Pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.uk/pledge
Anyone affected by domestic violence can get help and support from the following organisations in South Tyneside:
- Impact Family Services provides support and advice to females or males, over 16, who have suffered domestic abuse or been affected by it and can be contacted on 07375788835or visit www.impactfs.co.uk
- Respect is a confidential and anonymous helpline for anyone concerned about their violence and/or abuse towards a partner or ex-partner. It can be reached on 0808 8024040
- Places for People Women's Refuge offers advice and support as well as providing safe, temporary and emergency accommodation to women, with or without children, at risk of domestic abuse and can be contacted on (0191) 454 8257.
In an emergency, victims are always urged to call 999.
For further information about domestic abuse, how to report an incident or details of local support services, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/domesticviolence