Football and rugby stars from the Capital are backing a campaign to tackle domestic abuse over Christmas.
Hearts, Hibs and the Edinburgh rugby team will wear white ribbons on team strips over the next couple of weeks, including in the Edinburgh derby on January 2, to show support for the campaign.
The move comes as police announced officers would be making house calls over the festive period to check up on people with repeat convictions for domestic violence.
The sports initiative was being launched in Edinburgh today with rugby player James Hilterband and the Hearts and Hibs goalkeepers Jamie MacDonald and Ben Williams.
The White Ribbon campaign tries to encourage men to get involved in preventing violence against women.
Police said domestic abuse escalates over the festive period.
Callum Hendry from White Ribbon Scotland welcomed the support of the players.
He said: “The White Ribbon Scotland campaign engages men in Scotland to speak out and take action to prevent the drastic levels of abuse in our society.
“This 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.”
Meanwhile, police plan to knock on the doors of repeat and high-risk domestic abuse offenders between Christmas Eve and January 5.
They will attempt to ensure the individual’s partner is safe and any evidence of an attack could trigger an investigation.
Officers will also seek to ensure bailed offenders or domestic abuse suspects abide by court restrictions on their movements, such as orders banning them from approaching their partners.
The hope is that targeting repeat offenders will deter them from further violence.
Incidents of domestic abuse typically increase around Christmas and New Year.
Detective Inspector Dougie Moran said: “Police Scotland’s priority is to tackle domestic violence year round. Unfortunately, during the festive period, incidents of domestic abuse are known to increase. We will investigate all reports of domestic abuse and pursue repeat offenders.
“Police Scotland is actively trying to raise awareness of this issue and of organisations which can provide support, advice and assistance.” Every year about 5500 women in Edinburgh report domestic abuse to police. The Evening News’ Christmas fundraising appeal is supporting Edinburgh Women’s Aid, which provides services such as a shared refuge for women, children and young people escaping violence and abuse.
How you can help
FORTY years ago Edinburgh Women’s Aid was launched to help women and their children experiencing domestic abuse leave their homes and get help and support. Still today one in four women will experience some form of domestic abuse. To help EWA help them please donate this Christmas – as little as £5 can be put to good use.
Cheques should be sent to EWA, 4 Cheyne Street, Edinburgh, EH4 1JB or donate online at www.justgiving.com/edinburghwomensaid/donate
What can your donations do?
£5 provides duvet covers for a woman or child/young person
£10 provides a duvet for a woman or child/young person
£50 gives children/young people an outing to the cinema/ten-pin bowling/zoo
£1000 gives 12 weeks (5 hours per week) awareness raising/prevention work in schools
£15 covers fuel/lighting costs for a week’s refuge space
£20 provides 45 minutes of one-to-one support for a woman or child/young person
£25 provides 60 minutes of one-to-one support in the community
£25,000 provides an additional advocacy worker for 35 hours per week
£100 buys new locks to keep someone safe in their home
£15,000 provides an additional support worker to women or children and young people for one year (21 hours per week)
£5000 funds a parenting course to increase parenting skills and build for the future
£2500 enables a lifestyle management course to build confidence and self-esteem