COUNTY Hall bosses have pledged to help end violence against women.

Today is White Ribbon Day - an international event to eliminate violence against women.

It is also the start of the county domestic abuse board's 16 days of action campaign, with this year’s focus being male violence against women.

Men are being urged to take the White Ribbon pledge “never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women”.

County council leader Kevin Bentley said: “We stand with women across the county this White Ribbon Day. As a council we commit to do all we can to eliminate violence against women and girls.

“We are standing together with women today to say violence against women and girls is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated. It is important for our communities to also make this pledge and stand with us too.”

Children’s services boss Beverley Egan added: “Violence against women and girls must stop. This is something that is far too deep-rooted in society today and an issue we – as individuals and accountable organisations – can simply no longer ignore.

“We are already making great strides to address this in Essex and recently launched our new domestic abuse strategy which sets out our intentions for addressing domestic abuse over the next three years and beyond.

“Women and girls deserve to live a life free from violence and intimidation, whether at home or in public - county council deputy leader and advisory group chair Louise McKinlay

“While we know that domestic abuse does not exclusively affect women, we also know that the vast majority of victims are female, with an estimated 1.6million women across the country sadly suffering last year alone.

“This is simply unacceptable and as part of our strategy, we have committed to working with these individuals to look at how and where changes need to be made.

"We want them to help shape new support services and influence local decision-making right at the beginning."

County Hall set up a special safety advisory group in April 2021 after the horrific murder of Sarah Everard which sparked a national outcry about women’s safety.

Council deputy Leader and safety advisory group chair Louise McKinlay said: “Women and girls deserve to live a life free from violence and intimidation, whether at home or in public.

“I want the safety advisory group to be a beacon of change, sparking the conversation about women’s safety and bringing about real, tangible action.

“Shortly, we will be announcing how we will be spending the £500,000 that Essex County Council has allocated for initiatives in this space.

"Our plan will be driven by feedback from the recent survey and subsequent discussions that have taken place with residents and organisations."

Help is available for anybody suffering abuse. For more information visit