A CHRISTMAS-themed poster campaign is being launched in a bid to tackle the seasonal predicted increase in domestic abuse.

Helpline numbers will feature on the posters which will be placed in public building around York and North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police and the Community Safety Partnerships are behind the campaign, which uses the messages of Silent Night, The Twelve Days Of Christmas, Christmas Is A Time For Giving and Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.

Figures show about one quarter of all women and one sixth of all men encounter some form of domestic abuse in their lives, but only half of incidents are ever reported.

Incidents increase during December and even more in January, often blamed on financial pressures, the stress of Christmas and excessive alcohol and drug misuse.

Police say the last few years have seen incidents emerging from families who, prior to the economic downturn, would have separated.

However, falling house prices, the difficulties in obtaining mortgages and both or one of the parties losing their job has meant couples and families are forced to live together even when the relationship has broken down.

Domestic abuse includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.