Essex police shared post from domestic violence campaign on Twitter

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 15, 2017

Earlier this week Essex Police, who are acting in partnership with the board, shared a post from its campaign Twitter with a picture of victim "Sheila" and the quote: 'It was bad, but I knew I would never leave.

A local British police force have faced backlash for social media posts that appear to suggest domestic abuse victims stayI'm with their partners.

But a Facebook post has sparked anger after saying that its subject Sheila "knew that the abuse in her relationship was wrong" but also would never leave so had been given help that helped them "stay together but safely".

I just have no words for what an irresponsible, silencing, diminishing campaign this is.

Chair of the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board, Cllr Dick Madden said the campaign was developed directly with domestic abuse specialists, domestic abuse refuges, partners and survivors of abuse. "In 2017. This is absurd".

"The stories featured in the campaign are real stories".

Mr Madden said the group "thought very carefully" about including Sheila's story.

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"The messages are created to help victims reach out and seek support". It includes seven scenarios based on real life experiences.

"Not all domestic abuse cases are the same, and not all victims will want to leave or consider reporting to the police", he added.

"It's "if something is happening in your relationship, even if you've been with someone for decades, there is help you can get". Studies showed that working with perpetrators could reduce physical violence but had only a limited effect in tackling coercive and controlling behaviour, she said.

One commenter said that women should always be encouraged to leave and described the post as a "shocking reinforcement of abuse" from the police.

"The message that a woman can safely stay in a relationship that is or has been abusive is extremely risky; it minimises the devastating impact of coercive control, and could leave women stuck in an abusive relationship and feeling that there is nowhere to turn for help". "It minimises the devastating impact of coercive control, and could leave women stuck in an abusive relationship and feeling that there is nowhere to turn for help". The campaign website says it aims to empower victims so they can seek support through a phoneline and website for survivors over 55.

"It is the job of the police to arrest and charge domestic abuse perpetrators, but only last month the third HMIC report into the police response to domestic abuse victims found fewer perpetrators were being arrested as well as grave inadequacies in practice", she said.

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