Marchers take to the streets to combat domestic abuse

Coun Tracey Dixon with members of the White Ribbon Day march.
Coun Tracey Dixon with members of the White Ribbon Day march.

Marchers took to the streets of South Tyneside in a bid to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

The event yesterday was organised by anti-abuse charity Options as part of the global White Ribbon Day initiative – which takes place tomorrow.

The group, which was made up of abuse victims and supporting organisations, made its way from South Shields Town Hall to the Old town Hall in Market Place.

Every year in the borough there are 3,500 incidents of abuse reported to the police

Graeme Littlewood, South Tyneside Council’s domestics violence coordinator, said: “When you think about it that’s an awful lot of incidents for one borough, and these are the ones which are actually reported. How many more go unreported?

“We’re not just talking about physical violence. Many victims also suffer greatly through emotional abuse, the effects of this can also be extremely damaging.

“I’m very pleased with the march’s turnout. The people of South Tyneside are very good at supporting each other as a community.”

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Although the campaign highlights the issues faced by women and children in these situations, it’s important to remember that men can also be victims of domestic abuse and to raise awareness that violence against men will equally not be tolerated.”

Coun Dixon added: “White Ribbon Day reminds us why it is important to speak up and sends a message to others that this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.”