Domestic abuse helplines are preparing for a spike in calls after Christmas Day, explaining that the festive period can be a time of “hurt and fear” for many.
While people are preparing to spend Christmas in the arms of their families, for Women experiencing domestic abuse this time of year comes with additional pressures often leaving them treading on eggshells to avoid conflict during the festive season.
Financial stress, increased time in the home and an increase in alcohol consumption can all lead to abuse escalating over the Christmas period. Women who want to escape abuse often avoid doing so in the run up to Christmas so as not to disturb the family dynamic or worry children at this time of year.
” I had wanted to tell him to leave for weeks, as things had been getting worse. He was getting more controlling and I was starting to get scared he would be violent. I didn’t want to cause a fuss before Christmas and I thought things would be ok. Between Christmas and New Year I knew I had to protect my kids, so took them to a friend then while they were out I asked him to go. He got really angry and that was when he got violent.”
Women usually try to give their children normality over Christmas and their only chance to call a helpline is when Christmas is over and their partner isn’t home or the kids have gone back to school.
The key is not to suffer in silence. Safespots will be open until the 21st of December and re-opens on Wednesday 2nd January at 9.30am, however the National Domestic Abuse Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge 0808 2000 247 is a 24hr service, so please, if you need help, pick up the phone.
*name changed for confidentiality