Posted on 25th November 2019

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Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is showing his commitment to tackling domestic abuse by taking part in a Cheshire campaign to highlight the issue.

David Keane is one of 16 influential men across Cheshire to have his picture taken as part of Chester Women’s Aid and Chester Soroptimist’s #HeForShe campaign which invites men from all walks of life to stand up and speak out to stop violence against women and girls.

Over the next 16 days a photograph of each of the men supporting the campaign, taken by local photographer Kat Hannon, will be released on social media to raise awareness of the effects of domestic abuse across Cheshire.

The campaign has been launched today (Monday 25 November) with the commissioner’s photograph being released to mark White Ribbon Day – an international day for the eradication of violence against women. It will run until Human Rights Day on Tuesday 10 December.

Other high profile figures involved in the campaign include chief fire officer Mark Cashin and television producer and screenwriter Phil Redmond. All men in Cheshire are also being encouraged to get involved by tweeting their own images and messages of support using the hashtag #HeForShe.

PCC David Keane said: “Domestic abuse can occur in any relationship and can range from physical violence to emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse. It can also affect anyone in our communities, irrespective of their gender or personal characteristics.

“I am proud to be asked to take part in this campaign and to also be an ambassador for White Ribbon as part of my aim to reduce the stigma of domestic abuse.

“12 months ago we launched the Open the Door initiative in partnership with Cheshire’s four local authorities to change attitudes and behaviours associated with domestic abuse. It is already supporting victims by helping them access services locally but it’s incredibly important that we continue to do all that we can to give both women and men who have been affected by domestic abuse the confidence to speak out and seek support.”

The commissioner joined some of the men involved in the campaign in a celebration of White Ribbon Day in Chester yesterday (Sunday 24 November) to support Chester Women’s Aid (CWA) in their annual street collection.

The street collection raises much needed funds for CWA, enabling it to continue giving emergency grant aid to victims and families fleeing their homes as a result of domestic abuse.

Fiona Neame, chair of Chester Women’s Aid, says there had been a rapid increase in applications for the grants recently with more women than ever needing their support.

She added: “Chester Women’s Aid is committed to raising awareness about the human and economic cost of domestic abuse, which still causes the deaths of two women per week in England and Wales at the hands of their current or former partner.

“The support of high profile figures, such as police and crime commissioner David Keane, is vital in helping to bring the issue of domestic abuse out from behind closed doors and into the public domain, so that survivors can be supported by the community and perpetrators stopped from moving from victim to victim."

If you, a friend or family member are currently experiencing domestic abuse, please visit www.openthedoorcheshire.org.uk to find free local support and advice.