Campaign launched to raise awareness of domestic abuse increase over Christmas period

York Press: Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross at the launch of domestic abuse awareness campaign. Picture: Chris Day Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross at the launch of domestic abuse awareness campaign. Picture: Chris Day

A NEW campaign to help raise awareness of domestic abuse and offer help to victims has been launched in York.

Incidents of domestic violence rise by about ten per cent over the Christmas period, according to research from the Safer York Partnership, and the new drive aims to highlight the issue and show how victims can seek support and advice.

Festive-themed posters have been put up on buses in the city to help spread the message, including “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas ... not an abusive one”, and “It’s the most wonderful time of the year ... but for some it isn’t”.

Sarah Hill, director of IDAS York, said: “Domestic abuse incidents increase during December and again in January. Many believe this is as a result of financial pressures, and excessive alcohol as well as the fact that families are spending more concentrated time together.

“Whatever the reasons it is crucial that victims know they are not alone, that there is help in the area and people don’t have to suffer in silence.

“We must also remember it’s not just victims who are affected by domestic abuse – children in the household are often the forgotten victims of this crime.”

Councillor Linsay Cunningham- Cross, City of York Council’s cabinet member for crime and stronger communities, said: “Domestic abuse can take many forms, none of which are acceptable.

“At whatever time of year it’s experienced and whether it’s a woman or a man that’s suffering, we want to remind people that it’s not right and that there is help and support available.”

In an emergency, people are being urged to dial 999, or they can phone IDAS on 03000 110 110 or call the Rape Support Line on 0300 111 0777. Victims can also get advice by visiting on the domestic abuse surgery at saferyork.

gov.uk The campaign is being run by the Safer York Partnership working with City of York Council and the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS).

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