Creating conversations online
The Rita Project has invited the creator of #AbuseTalk twitter hour & forum to share the story behind it's creation. Communities can be created anywhere with the anonymous nature of online engagement providing the safe therapeutic space many crave.
"Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.
My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.
Since this publication I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.
My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.
I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, its opened many doors, its connected many people, its supported lots of individuals and it has created an community.
I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.
I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.
In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.
Why have I opened a forum?
I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. That’s when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.
I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.
The forum is for anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse. It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more. Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.
Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…
#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.
Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.
Not in the UK? Thats not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the timezones most used.
Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you - it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.