WYRE Forest students and staff have pledged their support to an anti-domestic violence campaign with a banner bearing hundreds of colourful handprints.

The banner, called These Hands are not for Hurting, is being displayed at the Academy at Kidderminster in Weaver’s Wharf.

It bears the handprints of students and staff from the ContinU Trust schools, a collaboration of Wyre Forest and Hagley education providers.

Students made a series of pledges in December to say no to physical and verbal abuse and to raise awareness about domestic abuse and the national White Ribbon campaign.

The campaign is to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.

The pledge-making was supported by West Mercia Police, the ContinU Trust, Safer Wyre Forest and Barnardo’s.

A total of 1,200 young people and staff made the pledge by putting their hand print in paint and then onto material and a panel from each school has been sewn into the main banner.

Pupils were then able to talk to Police Community Support Officers and staff from Safer Wyre Forest to find out more about domestic abuse.

Justin Bryant, chairman of Safer Wyre Forest, said: “Domestic abuse is a subject which is often hidden and not openly discussed; raising awareness of it and how to get help is extremely important.

“We hope that this project has engaged young people, got them talking and informed them about domestic abuse and its effects”.

For confidential support and advice call the Worcestershire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 980 3331.