Chief Fire Officer stands up and speaks out to help stop domestic abuse
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Mark Cashin joins influential men in Cheshire to stand up and speak out to stop domestic abuse.
Supporting the campaign by Chester Women’s Aid (CWA) and Soroptimist International Chester, Mark Cashin joins 16 influential men in Cheshire, including Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane to bring the International #HeForShe campaign to Chester.
#HeForShe launches today, Monday 25 November, to mark White Ribbon Day – an international day for the eradication of violence against women and runs until Human Rights Day on Tuesday 10 December.
The campaign will see a photograph a day, taken by local photographer Kat Hannon, released on social media for 16 days, inviting all men in Cheshire to get involved by sharing their own images and messages of support using the hashtag #HeForShe.
Mark also joined some of the men involved in the campaign in a celebration of White Ribbon Day in Chester yesterday, Sunday 24 November, to support 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.
The event saw the Service use the aerial ladder platform to raise a spectacular 25m white ribbon above the rooftops of the Rows.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin, said: "White Ribbon is a fantastic national campaign which addresses the real issue of domestic violence. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has accredited White Ribbon Status which enables us to bring greater awareness of this issue to the public and encourage victims of domestic violence to not suffer in silence and come forward.
“A big part of our work includes offering fire safety advice to vulnerable adults and young people, which can include fitting fire-proof letter box covers, smoke alarms, and wheelie bin locks. Domestic arson is often linked to domestic violence and can be a common problem.
“The service recognises that it is not only women who are victims of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, domestic abuse is also perpetrated both by women against men and in same sex relationships. However, whilst both men and women may experience domestic abuse, women are considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of abuse, including sexual violence.
"We are also committed to supporting ‘Open the Door’, a county-wide campaign which aims to bring domestic abuse out from behind closed doors by encouraging people to start a conversation and seek advice and support.
“As a service it is fundamentally important to protect the public of Cheshire, which is why standing up in support of these campaigns to tackle domestic violence is absolutely the right thing to do. Being White Ribbon accredited and supporting Open the Door gives us the best possible chance to help those victims who suffer domestic abuse.”
Fiona Neame, chair of Chester Women’s Aid, said "Chester Women’s Aid really values the support it receives from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, together the two organisations are looking for new ways to raise awareness about domestic abuse and to help the survivors live safely in the community.
"It is shocking to realise that arson is frequently used by perpetrators of domestic violence, with devastating consequences, including fatalities. CWA is delighted that Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin has agreed to be part of the 16 Days of Action, with its clear message to stop violence against women and girls."
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is White Ribbon accredited and has four senior ambassadors nominated to drive forward the campaign: Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin, Assistant Chief Fire Officers Alex Waller and Gus O’Rourke and Head of Prevention Nick Evans, with Gus O’Rourke being the lead as part of his work as a member of Cheshire Constabulary’s Strategic Domestic Abuse Board.
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.