Twenty four people have been arrested as a result of a tweetathon about domestic violence held in Brighton.
Sussex Police said that it expected to arrest eight more people and added: “A number of referrals were made to adult social care and children’s services as a result of calls received.”
The 24-hour tweetathon took place last Friday (14 December) and Saturday (15 December) with Detective Inspector Miles Ockwell taking a lead.
Detective Inspector Ockwell, from the Brighton and Hove Adult Protection Team, said: “I am really pleased with the outcome of this initiative.
“There was a significant amount of public debate generated by our activity which is exactly what we were seeking to achieve.
“I think that a lot of people were surprised by the number and type of calls that we received in just one day.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg given that a lot of abuse is never reported to us.
“I hope that, as a result of this initiative, people recognise how widespread domestic abuse is and that there are many people out there who need support.
“We work with our partners to ensure that those who do come to us receive the right kind of support to help them resolve what is a very complex situation.”
Sussex Police said: “The first ever Sussex Police 24-hour domestic abuse tweetathon was viewed by over 75,000 people.
“And over 8,000 people tuned in during the live web chats with 129 questions submitted.
“The tweetathon and web chats were part of the launch of the domestic abuse campaign by the newly elected Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.”
She was joined by the Chief Constable Martin Richards and a survivor of domestic abuse.
Sussex Police said that 113 incidents were reported to officers during the tweetathon of which 79 required an immediate police attendance.
Officers arrested 24 and recorded 25 crimes. Offences included assault, theft, affray, criminal damage, harassment and breach of bail.
Many of the calls were about civil disputes, often around child contact, or were requests for general advice.
Gail Grey, chief executive of Rise, the charity which supports women, children, young people and families affected by domestic abuse, went along to the campaign launch last Friday.
She said: “We applaud the police for taking this unique initiative.
“The immediate impact has been to highlight how pervasive and complex domestic violence and abuse is in our neighbourhoods.
“Working in partnership with Sussex Police, we provide help and support to survivors.
“This awareness raising can only help to illustrate the need for joined up working.
“I hope people will feel more confident about reporting to the police and Rise.”
Sussex Police said that more than 700 people had viewed its domestic abuse video which was narrated by 44 staff and officers and which was shown at the launch.
The video describes the experience of a survivor of domestic abuse including how the abuse escalated and the incident that inspired her to stand up to her abuser and seek help.
It can be viewed at http://youtu.be/OjmmjLiUbOg or by clicking on the screen below.
Sussex Police said that more information about how officers could help victims of domestic abuse was available at www.talktomeicanhelp.com.
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