A police force in Scotland has been praised for using Twitter to support women in abusive relationships by writing an open letter telling them: “Help is out there.”
Officers on the Lochaber and Skye Police force, which covers the highlands and islands of western Scotland, addressed a woman in the message of support.
But they later added the message on social media was to help “anyone who may be at risk”.
The series of tweets opens by saying:
“A letter to a young woman in Skye. We know you follow this account and want you to see this.
“We’ve told you previously that we think you are at risk of domestic abuse from your partner.”
“We want to help you and are doing lots with other agencies to try to keep you safe. You might not see us, you might not even like us being involved but we are always thinking about how we can help you.
“Your family and friends have told you they think you are in danger – they support you and want you to be safe.
“We think he’s probably told you, ‘It won’t happen again’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I’ll change’, he’s maybe even told you that it’s your fault – IT’S NOT.
“The violence, threats, degrading comments and controlling behaviour are not the life you need to lead, it can be better.
“You are not trapped and you are not alone, we can help you get out, your family and friends can help you get out and Womens Aid can help you get out.
“Call us, come to the Police station, phone someone, speak to local Womens Aid worker 01478613365 or 0800 027 1234.
“There is no excuse for domestic abuse. Help is out there.”
Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, said she thought the tweets were a “great, creative use of social media”.
Scottish Women’s Aid runs a 24/7 national helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse, as well as a network of local support across the country.
“Lochaber and Skye Police are trying to reach out in a different way which is fascinating and exciting,” she told BBC Scotland.