LOCAL sporting heroes have put their weight behind a campaign to stop domestic abuse.

Some of Worcestershire’s most high profile sporting teams are backing the local campaign to end violence against women and girls.

The Worcester Warriors, Worcester Wolves, Kidderminster Harriers, Worcester City Football Club and Bromsgrove Rugby Football Club have all pledged their support.

The international campaign – which is supported locally by the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and your Worcester News – runs until Monday. Entitled The 16 Days of Action, the forum is running a host of events and initiatives throughout the period.

The teams’ support offers a welcome boost to the issue of domestic abuse which has also received the backing of actress and the nation’s favourite Oxo mum, Lynda Bellingham.

Dean Schofield, captain of the Worcester Warriors said : “Domestic abuse and sexual violence is an evil which everyone must stand up to. It should never be ignored and nobody should have to suffer in silence. At the Warriors we are encouraging fans to support the white ribbon campaign.”

Team-mate Craig Gillies said: “The white ribbon campaign is all about sending out a strong message against domestic abuse and sexual violence. It’s an issue which impacts on people from all walks of life and it needs to be eradicated. Everyone should get behind the campaign and make a stand.”

Steve Burr, manager of the Kidderminster Harriers, said: “Kidderminster Harriers are delighted to support the white ribbon campaign against domestic abuse. We hope that the team’s involvement will also encourage our fans to champion the cause. “Football influences a substantial section of our community and if our support can help in raising awareness of the issue, then it will be more than worthwhile.”

The 16 Days of Action was originally launched in Canada in 1991. The dates are symbolic in that November 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 10 is International Human Rights Day.

Martin Lakeman, strategic co-ordinator for the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse, said: “We’d like to thank our local sports teams for their support and hope that their involvement will send a strong message into our communities that domestic abuse will not be tolerated. In Worcestershire we are committed to tackling all domestic abuse victims – men, women, children and those in same sex relationships.”

For information about the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse, contact Martin Lakeman on 01905 822357. To call in confidence about domestic abuse, call 0800 980 3331.