During the Christmas and New Year not everybody looks forward to spending this time with their family due to domestic abuse.

For these victims it also the most feared time of the year for them. These victims are also isolated and on occasions some are unable to spend the time with their loved ones through the control of the perpetrator.

Unfortunately Domestic Abuse figures are on the rise and in 2018 over 400 domestic abuse complaints were received on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day in Ireland alone. Anybody suffering with domestic abuse and requiring urgent assistance should call the police on 101 if a non-emergency and 999 if an emergency. There are also 24 hour domestic abuse support lines that can assist. Domestic Abuse is always increased over the Christmas period due to increased time with abusive partners, higher alcohol consumption and financial pressures.

It is also important for employers to be aware this is often a high risk time for those in toxic relationships. There are many pressures placed on families at this time of year i.e. financial pressures, spending more time together, consuming more alcohol, a need for everything to be perfect.

Thousands of families to include children will be living in households where there is domestic abuse this Christmas. Christmas can end up a nightmare for families living with a perpetrator of abuse.

Anybody can experience abuse, at any time and in many ways. Because there are so many different forms of abuse, it can take a long time to realise what you are experiencing. There is always help available – there is always something we can do.

  1. Coercive control – a pattern of acts or a singular act to control the actions of a person, through threats, humiliation, intimidation or other methods
  2. Psychological or emotional abuse – a method of control using emotions to criticise, embarrass, blame or manipulate
  3. Physical abuse – any injury used to control the actions of a person or performed in anger
  4. Sexual abuse – forced sexual acts with/upon a person
  5. Financial or economic abuse – a method of control to restrict or manipulate the financial status of a person
  6. Online or digital abuse – any use of technology to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a person.

Often people can feel scared to make contact with support services or reach out for help. Family members should be weary of somebody acting differently as they be being abused. Family members and friends should look out for the signs and offer support or even try and make a safety plan so matters can be managed at this time of intense stress and anxiety for some people. Often extended family, friends and neighbours can support with this.

If you are a victim of you know of somebody that is and you require our assistance please do not hesitate to contact a member of the dedicated domestic violence team today for some legal advice. Legal Aid is often available.

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