A DOMESTIC abuse charity is urging the public to get involved with a campaign to raise awareness and promote change when it comes to domestic violence.

Springfield, which offers support and refuge to survivors of domestic violence in the South Lakeland area, has called for people to take advantage of the sixteen day campaign, starting from White Ribbon Day on November 25, to educate themselves about domestic violence.

The White Ribbon Campaign was founded by men in Canada in 1981 and recognises the role that men can play in changing society’s attitude towards violence against women.

White Ribbon Ambassadors are male volunteers who engage with other men and boys to call out abusive and sexist behaviour among their friends, colleagues and communities to promote a culture of equality and respect.

The charity cited shocking figures, revealing the extent of domestic violence in the UK. They reported that the problem affected an estimated 1.6 million women in 2019, and that while men also experience domestic violence, six in every seven victims of reported domestic violence are women.

The campaign has perhaps never been more important, with reports of domestic abuse rising during the first lockdown and a second ongoing.

A Springfield spokesman said: “Evidence shows domestic violence is a gendered crime, Crown prosecution services show 93 per cent of defendants in domestic abuse cases reaching court are men, and in 84 per cent of cases the violence is directed against women and girls.

“Social attitudes surrounding domestic abuse have created a culture of shame and stigma, which in turn reinforces peoples reluctance to seek help."

Domestic violence describes a range of abusive behaviours and can also involve sexual, psychological, emotional and financial abuse, as well as coercive control.

“While recognising that many men do treat women with equality and respect, the White Ribbon Campaign asks men go one step further," said the spokesman.

“We need men to speak out when they see sexist or harassing behaviour- it’s not acceptable in 2020.

“Blaming violence on some bad men avoids taking any responsibility for the part everyone plays in creating our social environment."

The Westmorland Gazette: