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The hardest time of the year

This Christmas, we are reminding those coming together to celebrate that this should be a time for fun and enjoyment, not domestic abuse.

And for those living with abuse or violence, we are offering advice on how to make a report or leave an abusive situation.

Christmas graphic web

This time of year, incidents can be triggered by time spent with, or visiting, extended family and combined with alcohol consumption and financial pressure, can lead to increased levels of offending, or can worsen existing situations for families already experiencing abuse.

With often limited opportunities to leave the home, it can be extremely difficult for victims to seek help, or even to make an escape, but help is available.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Dadd, head of our Emerald team which investigates domestic abuse, says: “Annually we see a rise in reports of domestic abuse incidents over the festive period and into the New Year.

“We understand that this time of year can put relationships under a microscope, and can also heighten problems that may otherwise be masked by the daily routine of work and school.

“Abuse manifests in many forms, including emotional, physical, sexual or financial, and we would say to people, regardless of gender or sexuality, that they do not have to suffer in silence.

“If you are living with abuse, you can take steps to break free. Do speak to us, report any incident and you will be taken seriously. We are here to help.”

If someone is living with abuse or violence, or you have concerns for someone who is, there are organisations and people that can assist.

Resources and information can be found in our information pages.

Witnessing domestic abuse and violence is proven to be very damaging to children and young people. If you are being abused and you have children please consider the following:

  • include your children in the safety planning process – the primary aim of any safety plan with children involved is to escape from dangerous situations and avoid injury
  • rehearse escape plans with your children. Identify a safe place or person for the children to go to if an incident occurs or the situation escalates

When planning to leave an abusive or violent relationship, there are some steps you can take to ensure you remain safe.

  • when making plans, be careful who to trust with any information 
  • the time for leaving needs to be planned carefully - allow adequate time to pack and get away in safety

If you are not ready to make a disclosure or leave the situation, help and advice is available to talk through your options.

  • seek professional advice and support from local support  and outreach organisations, domestic abuse services and helplines
  • consider how agencies can make contact safely - such  as through a work number or at a friend’s address

A report can be made at any time by calling 101.  In an emergency situation, always call 999.


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