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'Domestic abuse is an issue for all of us to tackle'

FOOTBALL and rugby players are backing a campaign to tackle domestic abuse over Christmas.

Hearts, Hibs and the Edinburgh rugby team will wear white ribbons on team strips over the next couple of weeks, including in the Edinburgh derby on January 2, to show support for the campaign.

It was launched in Edinburgh yesterday with rugby player James Hilterband and the Hearts and Hibs goalkeepers Jamie MacDonald and Ben Williams.

Callum Hendry, from White Ribbon Scotland, said: "The campaign engages men in Scotland to speak out and take action to prevent the drastic levels of abuse.

"This is an issue for all of us to tackle. We hope to see more men playing an active role in challenging the attitudes which perpetuate violence against women."

There were 38,977 domestic incidents recorded between April 1 and December 2. The detection rate was 80% over the same period, Police Scotland said.

However, domestic abuse escalates over the festive period. As part of the police's festive campaign, more than 300 extra officers will join in a day of action against violence on December 20.

Chief Superintendent John Thomson said: "Over the holiday season alcohol consumption, stress and spending more time together can trigger an increase in incidents of domestic abuse.

"This is clearly unacceptable and we want to get the message out that if you commit an act of domestic abuse you can expect to be dealt with robustly. We are determined to support the victims of domestic abuse."

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