Footballers pitch in for domestic abuse blitz

HIBS and Hearts players were set to contest today’s Edinburgh derby wearing white ribbons to support a campaign against domestic violence.

Mascots for both clubs were expected to carry giant white ribbons on to the field before kick-off, with both managers also backing the drive.

It comes as new figures revealed today that nine attempted murders were among nearly 10,000 incidents of domestic abuse reported to Lothian and Borders Police in a single year.

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Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, Edinburgh’s divisional commander, said: “It is every man’s responsibility to act if they suspect domestic abuse is taking place around them.

“It is also their responsibility to teach their sons that verbal and physical abuse of women is not to be tolerated. The white ribbon campaign is all about reinforcing the good influence men can have on their children, and what better time of year than the festive period, when people get to spend long periods of time with their families.”

A total of 5254 domestic abuse incidents were dealt with by police in Edinburgh between April 2010 and March last year, with 657 men suffering at the hands of a female attacker.

Police figures recorded another 87 male victims in gay relationships who suffered domestic abuse in the Capital, while 89 were women in lesbian relationships.

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Across the Lothians, there were 1827 domestic abuse incidents in East and Midlothian, 2062 in West Lothian, and 781 in the Scottish Borders.

In the nine attempted murders, seven involved men allegedly attacking a female partner while two women were arrested for attacks on males.

The figures were released as a new domestic abuse court is set to be piloted in Edinburgh, with the first case due on February 7.

Councillor Paul Edie, the city’s community safety leader, said: “No-one should have to suffer in silence and our message to those who are experiencing domestic abuse is that help is available.

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“The introduction of the pilot domestic abuse court next year demonstrates the commitment of all the agencies involved to tackle this issue and give victims a voice. We would urge anyone experiencing abuse to contact one of the many support agencies in the city to seek support and ensure those committing these crimes are brought to justice.”

A police spokesman said: “Domestic abuse is an issue that the force takes extremely seriously, and we are committed to robust enforcement in order to ensure that those guilty of carrying out such crimes are brought to justice.”

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