Focus: Communications - Site Visit

The first national domestic violence website for children and young people, The Hideout was developed for Women's Aid by the design agency Nemisys and officially launched by singer Will Young in April.

Providing indirect and informal support to children and young people living with domestic violence, the site has registered 2.3 million hits in its first six months - a success that saw it win the Best New Media Campaign award at the Third Sector Excellence Awards earlier this month.

Main pages

It's an excellent homepage. Bright, clear and attractive, the human aspect is provided by two of the four characters who reappear throughout the site and who each have their own story to tell.

The principal sections, which include 'what's going on', 'exploring my feelings', 'what can I do' and 'helping a friend', provide a seamless and sensitive transition from identifying domestic violence to dealing with it. Even the site's more light-hearted areas, such as the 'chill out' zone and celebrity testimonials, play an important role. Not a page is wasted.

Special features

'Hide my visit' is a button that appears on every page. For those who wish to visit what is evidently a very sensitive site without anyone seeing, this function allows them to move to a different site immediately. It's a simple tool that could be vitally important for children across the UK.

Women's Aid says:

"Children and young people can be enormously affected by domestic violence.

The Hideout plays a vital role in providing information and helping them find the support they desperately need. We are delighted that it has achieved such success in its first year."

Site Visit is by Tony Hodson

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