Eastbourne Police marked White Ribbon Day on Monday – the international day for the elimination of violence against women.
Officers were joined by partners from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the borough council, the street pastors and door supervisors to pledge their support.
White Ribbon Day offers the opportunity to speak out, stand up and wear a ribbon for the women in their lives by pledging never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards them.
Sussex Police and partners wore white ribbons aimed at encouraging all victims of domestic abuse to report incidents earlier before the abuse escalates, and by raising awareness of White Ribbon UK, an international organisation working to involve men in opposing violence and abuse against women.
Currently more than 60 reports of domestic abuse are reported to Sussex Police each day.
The true picture will be much higher as often the abuse goes on behind closed doors and the reasons for not reporting are undoubtedly complicated.
Inspector Rachel Barrow said, “This is an important message we are keen to support. We are using this opportunity to encourage anyone affected by domestic abuse to have the confidence to seek help from the police or other partner agencies.
“If you are in a relationship where you feel frightened, or if controlling, abusive or violent behaviour has become part of the relationship, you may not see a way out, but there is a way out, in fact there are many ways out and it starts by just being able to talk to someone. Sussex Police has specially trained officers who can help.
“ We ask people to talk to us in confidence by calling us at any time, or if they can’t talk to us, then talk to someone- perhaps a close friend, or someone you trust such as a helpline who can help you decide what to do next.
“Abuse is something you do not have to put up with.
“This is a widespread social problem that affects a variety of people but there is a lot of help available, not only from Sussex Police.
“Unfortunately domestic abuse is extremely common and statistics indicate that one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime – many of these on a number of occasions.
“Experience suggests that friends, families and neighbours are often aware or suspect that something is happening but, for one reason or another, are reluctant to get involved. This is a mistake.
“Domestic abuse ruins family life and has long term, serious consequences for everyone concerned.
“We are asking friends, neighbours and acquaintances to help the victims of domestic abuse by calling the police to report their concerns.”
Dave Shepard, Eastbourne fire borough commander, added “I am pleased to pledge our support for this important campaign.
“We will be proud to raise awareness by wearing a white ribbon and I hope others will do the same.”
Sussex Police was the first police force in England to be awarded White Ribbon status in recognition of the work being done to tackle domestic abuse.