Suffolk police chiefs launch charity’s campaign to rid Suffolk of domestic abuse

Annual general meeting of the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum. Police and Crime Commission

Annual general meeting of the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum. Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore with temporary Chief Constable, Gareth Wilson, and Drena Black, chairman of the forum. Start of the White Ribbon campaign in the Lowestoft area. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2015

Suffolk’s head of policing joined the county’s top ranking officer in denouncing violence against women.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore made a gesture of defiance by fastening a white ribbon to his lapel for the launch of the White Ribbon Campaign.

Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Wilson also became one of the symbol’s first wearers at the AGM of the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum (WDVAF).

The meeting at Lowestoft’s Kirkley Centre marked the launch of the annual campaign, which aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

It coincided with the launch of a new website and social media, which the WDVAF hopes will reach as many families as possible.

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More than 80 professionals attended, including chief executive of SafeLives, Diana Barran, who spoke about the effects of domestic abuse on children.

WDVAF was founded in 1982 by Drena Black, who this year won the Sue Poole award for her service to families in the county.

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In July, it extended service to support families in Suffolk Coastal, and will be visiting towns to raise support in the coming weeks.

Volunteers and police staff will be at the Co-op in Bungay on Monday, Halesworth on Tuesday, Leiston on Monday, December 7, and Asda in Lowestoft on Wednesday, December 9, between 10am and 3pm. There will also be a display at Lowestoft College student services from December 7-9.

WDVAF’s seventh Caring Dads programme launches in January for fathers wishing to develop better relationships with their children. A new set of Freedom Programme courses will also launch for women who wish to understand more about the abuse they have suffered.

WDVAF coordinator, Julie Paton thanked Mr Passmore for funding much of the charity’s work this year; Asda Foundation for a community award; Sentinel Leisure Trust for again choosing to donate from the Lowestoft Christmas swim; Pakefield High School for various fundraising events; Rookery Park Golf Club for a generous donation; the Inner Wheel Beccles group for making WDVAF one of its charities this year, and Suffolk Community Foundation’s support in accessing grants. She also thanked vice-chairman, Maureen Duckworth, for raising £160 by ‘Going Dry for Domestic Abuse’ in October, and Asda and the Co-operative for use of their premises to stage the campaign.

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