As the school holidays are now underway, we are urging those who are experiencing, or who are at increased risk of, domestic abuse, to come forward and seek help.
For those already living with domestic abuse or violence, long periods of enforced time together over the summer, with no respite, can often lead to increased levels of incidents, and feelings of fear and isolation.
Spending more time with a partner, especially when outside of the normal daily routine, with the added pressure of keeping children occupied until school starts again, can be a catalyst. Increased alcohol consumption, midweek late nights and boredom can also test any relationship to breaking point.
If there are 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.
Abuse can take many forms including emotional, physical, sexual or financial. We know only too well there are seasonal pressure points, like school holidays, that can trigger episodes of further abuse, or intensify existing situations.
If someone is experiencing abuse or violence and is apprehensive about the summer holiday period, there are organisations and people that can assist.
Witnessing domestic abuse can be very damaging to children. If you are being subjected to abuse and you have children please consider the following:
- include children in the safety planning process – the primary aim of any safety plan for children is to escape from dangerous situations and avoid injury
- rehearse escape plans with children identify a safe place or person for 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 to ensure you remain safe.
- when making plans, take care over who to trust with any information
- the time for leaving needs to be carefully planned – allow adequate time to pack and get away safely