Domestic violence campaign launched

A CAMPAIGN to fight back against domestic violence was launched in Suffolk today. Suffolk County Council has joined forced with Suffolk police, other councils and campaigning groups to launch the White Ribbon campaign.

A CAMPAIGN to fight back against domestic violence was launched in Suffolk today.

Suffolk County Council has joined forced with Suffolk police, other councils and campaigning groups to launch the White Ribbon campaign.

It follows an increase in the number of reported incidents of domestic violence.

The White Ribbon campaign is also an international scheme which works to cut down incidents of domestic violence.

It will run from today until December 10, and during that time the Suffolk police community safety roadshow will travel around the county giving information and advice about domestic violence.

At Portman Road on Saturday, county councillor Peter Monk will release 4,800 white balloons ahead of Ipswich Town's game against Brighton. Each balloon will represent one reported incident of violence in Suffolk last year.

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Mr Monk said: "Domestic violence is often described as the hidden crime because it happens in all sorts of homes and to all sorts of people, regardless of age, colour, profession, location or even gender.

"We hope that the White Ribbon campaign will encourage anyone who is suffering violence in the home to talk to someone they trust, about what they are going through, before it is too late."

Deputy chief constable of Suffolk police Gillian Parker said: "Domestic violence now accounts for more than 25 per cent of violent crime and the fact that the number of reported incidents has increased is a very positive sign.

"It means more people are having the confidence to come forward and seek help."

The launch was due to take place at the Mid Suffolk District Council offices in Needham Market and be attended by Andrew Good, chief executive of Mid Suffolk District Council, Gillian Parker, Gordon Paton, the Mayor of Stowmarket, Kay Oakes, deputy mayor of Needham Market, Marianne Fellowes, Suffolk County Council domestic violence development officer, Helen Oldfield, chair of Mid Suffolk Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum and members, district councillor Poppy Robinson and county councillor Ron Snell.

White Ribbons to wear in support of the campaign are available in police stations and the borough and district council offices.

Two helplines are available to anyone who wants to talk about domestic violence. The local helpline can be contacted on 0800 783 5121 and the national helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Do you have a story about domestic violence? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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