INVERNESS Caledonian Thistle and Ross County have teamed up to support a national domestic abuse campaign before their Highland derby on Wednesday January 2.
The teams are promoting the White Ribbon campaign, a national initiative which aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse, whilst supporting victims. Northern Constabulary and Woman's aid are joining the SPL clubs to bring the issues of domestic abuse into focus during the festive period.
Terry Butcher, Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager, said: "The issue of domestic abuse and in particular violence against women traditionally comes to the fore during the winter months, with a number of people being affected.
"This serious issue needs all our support and we at Caley Thistle are 100% behind the White Ribbon Scotland campaign which encourages men to take a stand to end violence against women by taking a pledge at the campaign website."
Derek Adams, Ross County manager, also showed his support: "This serious issue needs continuing support and we at Ross County fully support the White Ribbon Scotland campaign. We also support the excellent work being done by Ross-shire Women's Aid in this regard, well supported by Northern Constabulary which goes a long way to help highlight the problem."
Heather Williams, manager of Ross-shire Women's Aid, explained: "Domestic abuse blights the lives of too many women, children and young people all year round. We all know someone who is or has been affected by this and we can all play our part in stopping it.
"Most people do not abuse their partners but those who do need to know that we will not tolerate what they do. By joining together and not ignoring the issue we can stop domestic abuse. Everyone can play their part by not condoning it or remaining silent when we see it so I would like to reiterate the thanks to both football clubs for their support."
She continued: "Help is available to those experiencing abuse, it is not something which just happens and it is not something that you have to experience in silence. The Police, Women's Aid and all other agencies can help you and will understand. Family and friends can help by asking the simple question 'are you ok' and being ready to listen. Together we can all play our part and end domestic abuse."
Chief inspector Ross Mackillop, area commander for Ross and Cromarty, said: "Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their home, violence of any kind against women must not be tolerated and we can all play our part in tackling it."
Police encourage anyone who has been a victim of domestic abuse, or has information relating to a victim of this crime, to report it to their nearest police station or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800555111.