This year has been difficult and challenging for our communities with prolonged periods of isolation and time at home which is why we are launching a new campaign against domestic abuse.
During the festive period we usually see an increase in reports of domestic abuse and with the heightened strain of the pandemic we are expecting to see these figures unfortunately rise further. During this time victims may have spent prolonged periods of time with their abusers and when this is added to the standard stress that Christmas can bring it may cause an already dangerous situation to escalate.
As part of this year’s Christmas campaign #ItsNotAGame we are encouraging people to look out for potential tell-tale signs of domestic abuse among their friends and family. Although many are not getting to see people in person at parties or gatherings like usual, there are still signs you can look out for; they may seem small but they aren’t trivial.
Are your friends or family members;
- not themselves
- hiding parts or their body or potential injuries
- limited in how long they can talk or be on video calls
- distant and distracted
- reluctant to share information
DCI Jon Roberts from the Vulnerability and Safeguarding team said “Although Christmas is a joyous time for many of us it can be an extremely stressful time for others. This heightened level of stress can cause tempers and frustrations to become more apparent and can lead to incidents of both emotional and physical abuse.
“We work to tackle domestic abuse all year round but with the events of this year now coming to a head over the Christmas period it is now more important than ever to look out for your friends and family. Are they becoming more distant, do they bruises or marks they can’t explain? Perhaps they just aren’t talking to you as much as they used to. Although these signs might not be anything to worry about it is always best to check. Changes in behaviour can be early warnings for serious domestic abuse.
“If your friend or family member does not feel comfortable coming to us directly there are other options for them and you to consider using. There are numerous charities and helplines they can contact to get the support they need but please be assured that we are here for you, despite the pandemic, Christmas time or anything else going on the police are always here to help you.”
The domestic abuse area of the campaign will be shared through our social media channels so please keep an eye out on our Twitter and Facebook pages.