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Suffolk police and refuge support White Ribbon campaign




A refuge worker has spoken out about the importance of a national domestic violence and abuse campaign which is being supported by Suffolk Police.

The White Ribbon campaign, which aims to create a future without male violence against women, runs until December 10.

Yesterday, Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid Centre, also known as the Refuge, held an event inviting people to go along to see what support is available.

PC Kevin Stollery, Jeannette Cooper from Elmswell Co-Op, Harriett Rice and PC Stefan Henriksen. Picture by Mark Westley.
PC Kevin Stollery, Jeannette Cooper from Elmswell Co-Op, Harriett Rice and PC Stefan Henriksen. Picture by Mark Westley.

One woman – who wished to remain anonymous – who turned to the Women’s Refuge for help and now works there said: “We’re raising awareness and basically trying to stamp out abuse against women.

“The service was invaluable in every single way at the time for me. I couldn’t have imagined that I would get out of the situation I was in. I didn’t understand, I was very confused. My support worker helped me and my children – they gave us a safe place to live and offered me support.”

She was also involved in a ‘freedom programme’ which the Refuge runs.

“It empowered me, the programme helps you understand the abuse,” she said.

Rachael Cox, outreach support worker at the Women’s Refuge, said: “We felt it was something we could invite people along to. We opened the doors so people could see what we do here. We had several displays up.”

Suffolk Police has been focusing on abuse in rural communities.

It has issued 500 white ribbons for officers and staff to wear to show support and further raise awareness.

The force has held a number of events including the domestic abuse and rural crime teams being present at Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre on Saturday and Sunday and Elmswell Co-Op on Wednesday.

Detective Superintendent David Giles said: “White Ribbon is an opportunity to work with other organisations, to raise awareness of domestic abuse and violence, sending a strong message that it will not be tolerated or condoned in any way. I am proud to say that lots of excellent work is already being undertaken in this area.”


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