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West Midlands Police has launched a new awareness campaign for domestic violence, by targeting travellers on the region's buses and trams.
Messages and advice for victims of domestic abuse are being printed on the back of bus tickets in the hope of reaching more victims and encouraging them to seek help. It is also hoped that the campaign will show that domestic abuse can affect anyone, male and female and that domestic violence is always unacceptable.
The bus tickets will be printed for one week and the tram tickets for two, with the messages including examples of the types of abuse victims may suffer and places and helplines that they can contact for advice and help.
The initiative is part of the Force's Christmas campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse over the Festive period- posters offering victims 12 ways in which they can change their lives and seek help, will be distributed across the force to be displayed in public places such as pubs and hospitals.
Extra officers who specialise in investigating and supporting victims of domestic abuse will be on duty across the region to deal with the expected rise in reports over Christmas and New Year.
DI Kim Madill from Birmingham North Public Protection Unit (PPU) said: " The reason we have gone for bus and tram tickets is because hundreds and thousands of people use public transport every day. By printing messages and helpline numbers on tickets, it also means that people can put them into their pockets and handbags and keep them,"
She added: "This campaign is about encouraging all victims to seek help and to highlight the fact that victims from all walks of life can be affected by domestic abuse and support is available to all."
Domestic abuse can often be an issue in December and the holiday period, this is often attributed to increased family tensions and alcohol consumption.
DI Madill said: "Domestic abuse can be psychological, physical, emotional and sexual and is known to be an under reported crime for all victims, be they women or men in a variety of relationships and also members of ethnic minority communities. We want to raise awareness of the help that is available out there."
"Offenders face the prospect of spending time in custody over Christmas. We will also seek to use bail conditions to protect victims, and in cases this will prevent people from returning to the family home. Domestic abuse is a serious crime, and we will make sure that it is treated as such."
West Midlands police want to ensure that people and families affected by domestic abuse are given access to all of the support that is available. To talk a domestic abuse officer in your local area call 101.