A local domestic abuse survivor has offered advice during an online chat which allowed people experiencing problems to ask questions and get help.
It was the first time a survivor had taken part in one of the live events held by Sussex Police and followed a live streamed debate with a panel of domestic abuse experts discussing the topic on the Sussex Police website, another first.
The victim, whose real name was changed to Jenny to protect her identity, said, “I knew I was about to lose everything and my home – I had nothing more to lose and I didn’t want him to win. I knew I could either lay down and die or stand up and change things.
“I have been promoting this event via social networking sites and want to help the police and council. I wanted to do anything I can to help this event, even if it only helps one person.
“It takes a lot to stand up and help other people but we are all capable of making a change.”
The panel was made up of police officers, a case worker who offers support to victim, a member from the charity Refuge and a council housing needs officer.
They discussed some of the more challenging issues including whether neighbours and family members should be encouraged to report domestic abuse, should they be told there are victims in their street and do perpetrators recognise the signs of domestic abuse and know what they are doing?
Chief Inspector Jason Tingley said, “The debate was aimed to get people thinking about domestic abuse in a different way.
“It discussed the misconception that people often think it is physical but domestic abuse can take many forms like emotional, financial, sexual and psychological.
“It does not just affect partners but all sorts of people including same sex couples, siblings, family members and vulnerable adults.”
Further events focussing on domestic abuse will start on Friday December 14 including a 24-hour Tweetathon, the launch of a ground breaking video and live chats.
The debate and online chat can be viewed on www.sussex.police.uk and for support on domestic abuse go to this page.
East Sussex Adult Protection Team, which is a team of specialist detectives responsible for reducing the risk of harm to victims of domestic have taken to social media to encourage people to talk about domestic abuse and to report it. You can follow them on twitter @EastSussexAPT #noexcuse