Mansfield takes a stand against domestic violence

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Across Mansfield there are on average 49 reports of domestic violence to the police every week. This is a crime that is greatly under reported and many people will experience abuse for a long time before having the confidence to tell someone. Most victims are women, but it also affects men and is often witnessed by children.

Sunday 25 November is the annual recognition day for the White Ribbon campaign and as part of its commitment to become a White Ribbon Authority by February 2013, Mansfield District Council is raising awareness of domestic abuse and is calling on men to pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about domestic abuse.

The White Ribbon Town Award is for authorities wishing to demonstrate their commitment to ending male violence against women by engaging the whole community.

The Council will make a £500 donation to local women’s domestic violence support charities. It will also be running a series of awareness raising sessions for its staff, especially those who come into direct contact with residents as part of their duties.

In February 2012, the Council made a promise to support the year-long White Ribbon ‘Man Enough’ campaign, which aims to get a minimum of 10,000 pledges from men across Nottinghamshire, stating their opposition to violence and abuse against women and girls.

The Council is asking other organisations and businesses across the District to also join the campaign and take a stand against domestic violence.

Mansfield Town Football Club will also be showing their support with staff and players signing the Man Enough pledge. Information about the campaign will be included in the match programmes for the home games on 10 and 15 November. Collections for Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) and Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid will also be carried out at the game on Saturday 15 November.

Mansfield Churches Together will be supporting the campaign and will be handing money collected from church services on Sunday 25 November to local domestic abuse charities.

Domestic violence and abuse includes threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between partners or family members, that forms a pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling the victim.

Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at Mansfield District Council, said: “Domestic abuse can often be a hidden problem, a crime that takes place behind closed doors, but it is estimated that as many as one in four women and one in six men are affected by domestic violence.

“By standing together to show that domestic abuse, in any form, is not acceptable, we are giving victims and perpetrators the courage to stop the cycle and seek help.

“We are particularly keen to get local businesses on board as domestic violence can impact on employees, which in turn affects business costs, productivity and workplace safety. By actively supporting this campaign, local businesses would be sending out a powerful message that recognises the importance of the issue.”

If you would like to talk to someone about domestic abuse you can contact:

Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) on 01623 683 250 or www.nidas.org.uk

Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid on 01909 533 610 or www.nottswa.org.uk

Nottinghamshire 24 hour free phone helpline on 0808 800 0340

Men’s Advice Line for male victims 0808 801 0327 or www.mensadviceline.org.uk

The Man Enough pledge: “I pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.” Men can make this pledge by visiting www.ndvf.org.uk or www.man-enough.org or by texting man or man enough to 81400.