It is a sad but inescapable truth that domestic violence is a horrific reality for thousands of people, both women and men, around the UK in 21st century Britain.
Alongside rape, sexual exploitation and trafficking, domestic violence is an inexcusable crime. It is even present in Wealden, where domestic abuse crimes rose to 532 in 2014/15 and the number of domestic abuse incidents reached 742.
As an Officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Violence I am committed to combating domestic violence, by challenging its causes and raising awareness of it, especially in places such as Wealden where it's often just assumed that it doesn't happen. The APPG brings together MPs from all parties who are committed to working towards the elimination of domestic violence, wish to highlight issues which may affect victims and potential victims of domestic violence, and seek to contribute to the development of policy that reduces incidents of it.
The White Ribbon Campaign is a male-led campaign to challenge violence against women, and is one of the best ways we can raise awareness of domestic abuse. I support the White Ribbon campaign because men and women alike need to get involved in ending violence against women.
Wearing a white ribbon signifies a commitment to never engage in, condone or remain silent about violence against women, and I was pleased to join other campaigners in advance of White Ribbon Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, both on 25 November.
I’m pleased that Wealden District Council has declared its intention to apply for the White Ribbon Award as a mark of its commitment to ending domestic abuse and violence against women and girls, and that frontline staff at the Council are to receive awareness training in domestic abuse as part of this drive.