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News

Dec 17, 2019

Families deserve the gift of peace this Christmas

Domestic and sexual abuse often increases during the Christmas and New Year period – at the very time when families are trying to create the ‘perfect day’.

Posted in General

Many are unwilling to speak out and report domestic and sexual abuse in the run-up to Christmas – for fear of spoiling the festive season.

Victims and perpetrators can be male or female, although the majority of victims are female and the majority of perpetrators are male. Domestic abuse affects one woman in four at some point in her lifetime and it kills two women every week in the UK.

Staying Put, the Bradford-based charity, is urging people to call for help if they need it – whatever the time of year.

Yasmin Khan, CEO of Staying Put, said: “At Christmas time, we spend a lot more time with family, but for a person in an abusive relationship this is often not a particularly happy time of year. Families are under a huge amount of pressure and strain at Christmas. We want people to know that there is help available and we know speaking out is hard, but support is available - please don’t suffer in silence.

“There is never ever any excuse for abuse. Any form of abuse is wrong; everyone has the right to feel safe, especially in their own home at Christmas.”

Shelley Black, Chair of Staying Put, said: “You deserve a peaceful Christmas and domestic and sexual abuse is not acceptable at any time of the year.

“We will be helping dozens of families to celebrate a peaceful Christmas this year in our four refuges and dispersed accommodation, and we are very grateful to all those who have donated gifts, food and essentials to our survivors to make their festive season more comfortable and joyful.

“We would also ask people to be aware of their friends, families and neighbours during this period and look out for anyone who you suspect may be at risk. You might be able to prevent someone from coming to harm this Christmas – an incredible gift to give.”

Anyone who feels they, or another member of the family, are in immediate danger should call the police on 999.

The Staying Put Freephone helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, on 0808 2800 999.

The Staying Put offices will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but the National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline is open 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.

For more information on the services provided by Staying Put, go to www.stayingput.uk.net