Domestic Abuse - Staying Safe at Christmas
The Christmas period often brings with it a reported increase in police callouts for incidents of domestic abuse. The cost-of-living crisis and financial pressures, alcohol on tap, trying to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas and being cooped up together for long periods can contribute to a rise in domestic abuse. Perpetrators will use Christmas and other factors, such as alcohol, finances or mental ill-health, to excuse their abusive behaviours or, more often than not, blame their victim for the abuse. The Christmas period causes further difficulties for victims with fewer opportunities to report abuse and routes to safety shut down. School and college closures mean that opportunities for young people to report abuse and access support are restricted.
Domestic abuse is: Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
Controlling behaviour is: A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them for sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.