Police hope new web tool will inspire domestic abuse sufferers to seek help

POLICE hope using a pioneering new web tool to spread the message about domestic abuse this Christmas will encourage victims to break their silence.

Officers from West Midlands Police hope a campaign using new crowd-speaking platform Thunderclap, which creates online attention by blasting out timed social media messages if enough people support a cause, will put domestic abuse at the forefront of people's minds and stimulate discussion and inspire victims to seek support.

Detective Inspector Kim Madill said: "We're doing everything we possibly can to protect vulnerable people this Christmas such as visiting known victims and targeting outstanding suspects.

“Domestic abuse is a priority for us at this time of year, when people tend to put on a brave face for the sake of the family.

"We also have a major publicity drive running which involves the tried and tested method of posters and leaflets but the use of Thunderclap is a new and interesting way of us spreading that message even further, to a diverse audience.

"It's easy, it's free and has the potential reach millions of people.”

The Thunderclap initiative will follow a live web chat on Friday December 20 hosted by a senior detective and a representative from national domestic violence charity, Women's Aid.

The two-hour session from noon to 2pm on www.west-midlands.police.uk/live will provide communities with a direct line to experts in domestic abuse offering support and advice.

West Midlands Police is the first force in the country to use a crowd-speaking platform to raise awareness of key issues.

A previous Thunderclap about human trafficking in October reached more than 325,000 people.

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