Herts Police are aiming to raise awareness of domestic abuse through the launch of a new social media campaign.
The county constabulary is working with partner agencies including victim support charities to raise awareness of the crime through sharing information on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #trustinus.
This morning’s launch encouraged social media users to send photos of themselves holding hands or being supported by others to show their trust in police and the support of victims of domestic abuse.
The initiative, which also features a dedicated external website, forms part of a larger picture in terms of how the force deals with domestic abuse.
Operation Oak – the operational name for the revised approach to how police deal with the issue – has also focused on refresher training of officers and staff internally around dealing with domestic abuse cases.
The webpage – www.herts.police.uk/domesticabuse – includes a guide to the different forms domestic abuse can take, including financial abuse, sexual abuse and controlling behaviour, as well as help for male victims and members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities.
There is also advice for those who are concerned about a family member or friend.
Herts’ Asst Chief Con Mick Ball said: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime which has devastating effects on not only victims, but their families, friends and
“By launching this campaign today – we are not only raising awareness of the different forms domestic abuse can take – but we are also encouraging victims to speak out and come forward.
“We will listen to you and help you.
“There are many things that we do well in Hertfordshire when dealing with domestic abuse. However, there is always scope for improvement and we, as the police, along with our partner agencies and the public must all continue to take individual action and responsibility to protect further victims.
“We need the public to help us tackle domestic abuse and I would encourage members of the public to come forward and support our campaign to raise awareness, offer support and encourage reporting – we all have a role to play.”
Divisional manager Victim Support Heather Robbie said: “Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse - it is not gender specific and can happen between people regardless of age, class, culture or religion.
“Never, ever forget that it is a crime for someone to be attacked in their own home or anywhere else – whether by a partner, family member or someone else.”