Christmas is a time for joy but sadly this isn’t the case for everyone. Across the UK police forces often see a spike in domestic abuse cases at Christmas.
During the festive period an increase in alcohol consumption and financial pressure within families can lead to physical abuse within relationships. It can also be a catalyst for psychological abuse with coercive and controlling behaviour creating fear in relationships and homes.
It has been a challenging year, but we don’t want anyone to suffer in silence and we want to reassure victims that we are still here to support them throughout the festive period and beyond. We can listen and we can take action.
Specialist domestic abuse detectives will be available during the Christmas and New Year period to accompany patrol officers to domestic abuse incidents in the family home. This will ensure victims of domestic abuse receive the best care possible. The additional measures will ensure victims are fully supported if they choose to go ahead and make a formal complaint to the police, or access advice from domestic abuse charities.
Detective Inspector Yoseph Al-Ramadhan said, “Domestic abuse is a complex issue and can take many forms including psychological, financial, sexual, emotional and physical. Alcohol and drugs are never the root cause of domestic abuse nor can they ever be used to justify it. However, we do know that people being intoxicated can trigger domestic incidents or escalate them to a violent level and that is why we have put extra measures in place during the festive season.
“Victims of domestic abuse can understandably be very upset and emotional when the police attend an incident in their home and patrols often have to make sure that the victim receives the support and care they require, whilst at the same time dealing with a suspect who may be aggressive or violent. We want to ensure victims who have had the courage to tell the police what has happened receive the best possible care and support from us from the very start. Our primary focus is to look after the victim, taking them somewhere away from the offender to speak to them about what happened, and getting them the help, they need if they want to break away from the cycle of abuse they may be suffering.”
Merseyside Police would also appeal to families and friends to keep an eye out for signs that someone may be a victim of domestic abuse. Sometimes victims are unable to contact the police, which is why it’s so important the people around them who suspect something is going can do it on their behalf.
Detective Inspector Al-Ramadhan added, “If you have concerns that a family member, a friend or a colleague is a victim of domestic abuse, please contact us.
“All reports are treated seriously, they will be investigated sensitively and we will work with our partners to offer support and keep victims safe. We will do everything we can to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.
“Every domestic incident is unique and the background to each one can be very complex. It is only right we use the right specialist resources whenever we can, so the victims of this terrible and under-reported crime are protected and their needs are put first.”
Local Support Agencies
Worst Kept Secret
Merseyside helpline – Freephone 0800 028 3398
Tackling domestic abuse within black and minority ethnic communities
Freephone 0800 107 0726 or 0151 709 6586*
*24 hour voicemail facility
Sexual assault referral centre for Merseyside
0151 295 3550*
*24 hours, 365 days a year
Support for survivors of rape and sexual abuse
0151 666 1392*
*Tuesday 6pm – 8pm, Thursday 6pm – 8pm, Friday 12pm – 2pm
Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre
Cheshire and Merseyside
0330 363 0063
Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service
0800 084 2744 / 0151 263 7474
Women and children’s aid centre
0151 727 1355
South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services
0800 083 7114 / 0151 494 2222
Sefton women’s and children’s aid
0151 922 8606*
*Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9.30am – 5pm,
Wednesday 9.30pm – 7pm, Friday 9.30am – 3pm
We Are With You
Drug and alcohol treatment charity
0151 706 7888
Amadudu Women’s Refuge
0151 734 0083
Support for male or female victims
01925 220 541 (24hrs)
Support for children and young people
0151 488 6648
Wirral Women’s and Children’s Aid
(Wirral Refuge) – 0151 643 9766
Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid (SWACA)
0151 922 8606
The First Step, Knowsley
0151 548 3333
St Helens Safe2Speak Support and advice
St Helens Safe2Speak:
Emergency assistance with accommodation – 01925 220541