Today (Thursday 25 November) is White Ribbon Day, which kick-starts an international campaign - 16 days of action to end violence against women and girls (VAWG).
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is showing its support for the campaign which runs until Thursday 10 December.
Over the next 16 days the Police Service of Northern Ireland will be taking part in women’s events across Northern Ireland and sharing information on support available to those affected by domestic abuse and the police action that will be taken against perpetrators.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “As an organisation we are totally committed to working with partners to making our communities a safer place for all women and girls.
“Unfortunately we know that 70% of all domestic abuse reported to us, relates to abuse against women and girls and this is still underreported. So, this will be the focus of our social media activity for the 16 days of action.
“Over the next few weeks we will also be launching a Christmas campaign with a strong reminder that women and girls in our society do not have to suffer in silence. If they come forward to report any abuse, intimidation, harassment or violence, they will be taken seriously and supported.
“As part of this, we will be issuing messaging directed at potential perpetrators and carrying out high visible and covert operations to target predatory behaviours.
“Both of these campaigns will help to raise awareness and will serve as a reminder that there is no hiding place for anyone who seeks to cause harm to women and girls.”
Officers and staff within the Police Service are demonstrating their commitment by signing the White Ribbon pledge. Commenting on this and the work of the Police Service in bettering their response to VAWG as a whole, Chief Constable Simon Byrne added:
“We are listening to the concerns being raised to us at this time and using the voices and sentiment of women and girls as the driving force behind the decisions we make on our Violence and Intimidation against Women and Girls Strategy, launching in early 2022.
“We will be highlighting and changing any misogynistic cultures that may exist internally within the Police Service and rooting out where we may have people working within our organisation who are conducting themselves in a way that could be harmful to their colleagues or the wider public.
“As of today, police officers and staff have begun signing the White Ribbon pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
“We recognise that we must lead by example.”
Please come forward and report to Police if you are suffering domestic abuse or any other type of abuse, intimidation or violence. All reports will be taken seriously, followed by transparent and professional investigations.
· If you have any reason to think someone is in immediate danger, or your life may be at risk, call 999.
· If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or any other type of abuse or intimidation, or are concerned for someone who is, report it to us by calling 101.
· Calling ‘999’ for help, but too afraid to speak? Dial 55 on your mobile phone when calling in an emergency and the operator will know that you need to be put through to police.
If you would like to make the White Ribbon pledge, you can do so here: https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise