A local British police force have faced backlash for social media posts that appear to suggest domestic abuse victims stayI'm with their partners.

Essex pPlice released an image with a woman named Sheila and how she "knew that the abuse in her relationship was wrong" but is given help and support to stay with her husband.

The post said: "It was bad but I knew I would never leave. The support we have had has allowed us to stay together safely."

Twitter users were far from supportive of the campaign.

One person responded with "What is this ? encouraging people to stay in abusive relationships. How to normalise domestic abuse. Two a week are killed by their abusive partner. Shame on you."

Another commented "What are you doing?! Staying in an abusive relationship is NOT advice the police should be advise!! *facepalm*"

Whilst Essex Police apologised for the offence caused by the post's use of "clumsy language", a spokesperson shared their statement online and attempted to clarify the issue:

"We're supporting a domestic abuse campaign to help people aged 55 and over. However, some of our language in the comments on one of our Facebook posts was clumsy and has caused offence and we're sorry.

"Our message in this campaign isn't "stay in any relationship no matter how abusive" It's "if something is happening in your relationship even if you've been with someone for decades there is help you can get."

The full statement can be read here:

Essex police are running the campaign in partnership with Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board.