CAMPAIGN groups have joined forces with emergency services to speak out against domestic abuse of women.

Soroptimists International Chester and Chester Women’s Aid have been using the 16 days, between International White Ribbon Day on November 25 and Human Rights Day on December 10, to run a digital campaign.

Sixteen inspirational local men have agreed to be photographed with a clear message to stop violence against women and girls, with one photograph released each day, together with shocking statistics about the violence endured by women and girls worldwide.

The photographs, taken by professional photographer Kat Hannon, will be posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram over the 16 days.

Subjects include TV producer and script writer Phil Redmond and University of Chester Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Canon Professor Tim Wheeler.

Also getting involved are Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin.

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.

“Twelve 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.”

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."

To be part of the campaign, add your photograph and the message “Stop violence against women and girls” at ♯HeForShe, follow and like Facebook: @chesterwomensaid and @soroptimistchester; Twitter: @chesterSI and @chesterwomenaid; Instagram: chesterwomensaid.

A street collection was held in Chester city centre as part of the launch of the campaign.

The street collection raises much needed funds, enabling CWA to continue giving emergency grant aid to families fleeing domestic abuse, where there are no statutory funds available.

Due to continuing cuts in funding, there is a rapid increase in applications for this grant aid, so fundraising has become a major focus for CWA in recent months.

A recent grant recipient said “This grant could possibly have saved my life and that of my children from a violent offender whose located my address.”

For more information on CWA, visit