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Police and partners join with local SPL football clubs as part of domestic abuse campaign

30th December 2013

Photograph of Police and partners join with local SPL football clubs as part of domestic abuse campaign

Police Scotland and multi-agency partners are joining with two local Scottish Premier League football teams in a bid to reduce domestic abuse across the Highlands and Islands.

Both Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County players will be supporting the cause by wearing t-shirts during warm up for the annual new year derby match, in Inverness on 01 January 2014.

In addition a number of police officers and members of the teams will be wearing white ribbons in support of the cause and information leaflets will be made available at the stadium on the day.

Domestic abuse is one of the main priorities for Police Scotland and as such officers from the Highland and Islands Division work closely with a number of partners to look at ways of reducing domestic abuse incidents across the region. Partners in this multi agency approach are Highland Council Social Work, NHS Highland, Victim Support, Women's Aid groups, Violence Against Women groups and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

One part of the Force's strategy in addressing domestic violence has been to review domestic abuse incidents involving repeat offenders, which involves careful monitoring of all reports which arise from incidents of alleged domestic abuse.

The main aims of the campaign are to raise awareness of domestic abuse across the Highlands and Islands, to establish effective practices and partnerships in protecting victims from abuse and to tackle the high number of repeat domestic abuse offenders.

Detective Inspector Eddie Ross, of Police Scotland's Highland and Islands Divisional Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said: "With our partners we protect victims through multi agency working and target repeat and high risk perpetrators, utilising all lawful means.

"In addition to local policing we now have access to trained Domestic Abuse Investigators within the Divisional Unit and the North Area Domestic Abuse Task Force. Any abuser is dealt with robustly and faces the consequences of their actions and the full effect of the law.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes said: "The issue of domestic abuse and in particular violence against women traditionally comes to the fore during the winter months, with a number of people being affected.

"This serious issue needs all our support and we at Caley Thistle are 100% behind the White Ribbon Scotland campaign which encourages men to take a stand to end violence against women by taking a pledge at the campaign website -

"We also support the excellent work being done at Ross-shire and Inverness Women's Aid in this regard, ably assisted by Police Scotland, which goes a long way to help highlight the problem.

"I would encourage all men who detest violence against women to visit the White Ribbon Scotland Campaign website and show their support."

Ross County manager Derek Adams said: "This serious issue needs continuing support and we at Ross County fully support the White Ribbon Scotland campaign which encourages men to take a stand to end violence against women by taking a pledge at the campaign website. We also support the excellent work being done by Ross-shire Women's Aid in this regard, well supported by Police Scotland which goes a long way to help highlight the problem.

"I would encourage all men who abhor violence against women to visit the website and show their support to help end this type of crime."

Catherine Russell, Manager, Inverness Women's Aid said: "Christmas and New Year for most of us is a happy time with family and friends. But sadly this is not the case for everyone. Whilst Domestic Abuse can happen throughout the year, the additional pressures of Christmas can leave many women who are experiencing domestic abuse feeling isolated and scared.

"Domestic Abuse can affect both women and their children and can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial abuse. No one needs to feel alone and if you want someone to talk to or you want support and information then please call your local Women's Aid who will have staff available who can help.

"The support of the footballers and the club is an excellent way of getting across the message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated. This campaign highlights not only the importance of the community taking a stand against domestic abuse but also the need for a multi-agency approach to both increase pressure on perpetrators and offer a wide range of support to victims."

Heather Williams, Manager, Ross-shire Women's Aid said: "Domestic Abuse blights the lives of too many women, children and young people. We are pleased that Ross County, Inverness Caledonian Thistle & Police Scotland have agreed to highlight this issue. Most men are not abusive to their partners but those who are need to know that we will not ignore what they do. By joining together and not ignoring the issue we can stop domestic abuse. Domestic Abuse is an issue for all of us to tackle and through this awareness-raising campaign we hope to see more men playing an active role in challenging the attitudes which perpetuate violence against women."

Caroline Tolan, Policy Development Manager for NHS Highland, said: "Domestic Abuse and other forms of Violence Against Women have a significant impact on health, both physical & mental health, and the impact can persist long after the abuse itself has stopped.

"Speaking up to challenge and tackle these kinds of abuse is hugely important. NHS Highland is delighted to be involved in this campaign and very much supports the work of White Ribbon in Scotland."

From L to R: John Hughes (ICT Manager), Catherine Russell (Manager of Inverness Women's Aid), Detective Inspector Eddie Ross (Police Scotland Highland and Islands Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit), Neale Cooper (Assistant Manager for Ross County), Steven Ferguson (Ross County 1st Team and Youth Coach), Duncan Shearer (ICT Acting Assistant Manager)

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