GUEST COLUMN: Speak up! Don’t suffer domestic violence in silence

STOCK: Domestic violence illustraion.
STOCK: Domestic violence illustraion.

Now the festive period has ended and the gloom of winter weather continues, we usually find there is an increase in the demand for our services.

Often, the strain of couples struggling to keep the impression of the happy Christmas cheer proves too much at this time.

The build up to Christmas and the additional pressures such as, the cost of providing presents and those additional treats. The close proximity and sometimes for a lengthy period of time, of other family members.

For those living with partners who have a controlling personality this can often by the final straw. The verbal and emotional abuse can often escalate at this time and can result in physical abuse.

For children living in this environment, the excitement and magic of Christmas can be squashed within hours, witnessing arguments and assaults.

January can be the time to focus on the need to make a break and to look for a chance to provide a calmer way of life for themselves and the children.

As an organisation we can provide confidential support to victims of domestic abuse and to their children.

We have a helpline and drop-in service and can offer one to one support and a chance to discuss the options available and also to assess the risk level and safety of the individual within their relationship. We can offer initial consultations with family law solicitors and signpost to debt services and Citizens Advice. We can also provide support with reporting incidents to the police and making them aware of potential risks to individuals.

Counselling services are available to those who have experienced domestic abuse and there are specialist children’s workers who can provide individually tailored sessions to aid and assist children to cope with their experiences.

For those who have recognised that their behaviour is controlling and unhealthy, we have a programme for men. This aims to address these behaviours and help build better relationships with their partner and make contact with any children safer.

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