A CAMPAIGN has been launched encouraging men to stand up and speak out against domestic abuse.

Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane is backing Chester Women's Aid and Chester Soroptimist's #HeForShe campaign, inviting men to help stop violence against women and girls.

Mr Keane is one of 16 influential men across Cheshire to have his picture taken as part of the campaign, to be published on social media and raise awareness of the effects of domestic abuse across Cheshire.

The campaign began last week on White Ribbon Day and will run until Human Rights Day on Tuesday, December 10.

All men in Cheshire are encouraged to get involved by tweeting their own images and messages of support using the hashtag #HeForShe

Mr 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.

“12 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.”

Fiona Neame, chair of Chester Women’s Aid, says there had been a rapid increase in applications for the grants recently with more women than ever needing their support.

She said: “Chester Women’s Aid is committed to raising awareness about the human and economic cost of domestic abuse, which still causes the deaths of two women per week in England and Wales at the hands of their current or former partner.

“The support of high profile figures is vital in helping to bring the issue of domestic abuse out from behind closed doors and into the public domain, so that survivors can be supported by the community and perpetrators stopped from moving from victim to victim."

See openthedoorcheshire.org.uk for free support and advice.