A leading domestic abuse charity has launched an innovative online campaign raising awareness of hidden abuse and offering support to victims.
Solace Women's Aid in Brewery Road is using the "hidden replies" control on Twitter for its #HiddenAbuse campaign. Users will see a tweet showing a seemingly happy couple saying: "This is what domestic abuse looks like".
By clicking on the hidden replies, they can then see the true reality behind the picture - a video that plays out a controlling and abusive conversation.
It takes, on average, six-and-a-half years for a woman to leave an abusive relationship. Controlling and coercive behaviour, cutting people off from their friends and family, and making them feel afraid and belittled are all forms of domestic abuse.
The campaign was devised by agency STACK with Solace and Twitter.
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Business development director Jane Jutsum said: "Just because domestic abuse doesn't always result in physical injuries that doesn't make it any less dangerous. Hidden abuse can take many forms, from controlling somebody's actions, to alienating someone from their family and friends, to creating an environment of fear and suffering.
"But some people don't realise hidden abuse is actually a type of domestic abuse. We believe every woman has the right to a life free from abuse and violence.
"A pattern of emotional abuse and controlling behaviours is at the heart of domestic abuse and the effects can be far reaching and extremely traumatic. We also know, from working with thousands of survivors, that these very behaviours are so often the precursor for escalating violence and even homicide.
"We need to reach more women sooner, so they can be safe from abuse and fear and rebuild their lives.
"We hope people get behind the campaign, retweet it far and wide and help to continue to open up the conversation around hidden abuse."
Victims of domestic abuse seeking help or advice can visit solacewomensaid.org/hidden-abuse or call Solace's London advice line on 0808 802 5565. Those outside of London can also can contact the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 or call 999 if in immediate danger.