Police use social media in campaign against domestic violence

SUSSEX Police will be using the power of social media over the next two weeks to highlight the issue of domestic violence in the county.

In support of International Day to End Violence Against Women, which takes place today (Sunday) and for the following 16 days leading up to Human Rights Day on December 10, Sussex Police East’s Adult Protection Unit will be tweeting each incident of domestic abuse police respond to in East Sussex as well the work the team undertakes each day to help victims.

The social media campaign aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to encourage victims to report it to police and the many partner agencies.

People will be able to learn how the adult protection organisations across East Sussex work together to protect a victim at each stage of their journey, from when a call is first received to when they are no longer at risk.

Detective Sergeant Lloyd Lewis said: “We fully support the 16 days of action to eliminate violence against women. It is our hope that in being more transparent in what Sussex Police does each and every day to help those affected by domestic abuse that people will seek help far sooner. Currently women will experience domestic abuse over 30 times before seeking help and we want to change this.

“Domestic abuse is a crime that cuts through all social, cultural and religious divides, affecting both young and old from all social backgrounds. In many cases it affects the whole family, including young children, but people are reluctant to seek advice until the situation becomes violent.

“Domestic abuse is not limited to physical or sexual violence, it can also include psychological, emotional or even financial abuse. We are urging victims to speak to us or one of our partner organisations at a far earlier stage, before the situation escalates. It is important for people to know that they are not alone and there is help available to address any problems they have, whether that be related to housing or their children’s schools, to substance misuse or harassment.

“I am part of a dedicated team whose primary focus is to investigate allegations of domestic abuse, to take steps to protect victims and to ensure offenders are brought before the courts. Within our unit we have dedicated case workers who focus on supporting victims of domestic abuse, providing advice and practical assistance to victims in terms of their ongoing safety and are well placed to refer them to other agencies who can offer them support.

“We work very closely with our partners to identify those that are suffering from domestic abuse and sexual violence and together, we put appropriate measures in place to ensure their safety.”

Follow the East Adult Protection Team on Twitter @EastSussexAPT #noexcuse

To report any domestic abuse phone Sussex Police on 101 or if it is an emergency dial 999.