Christmas is a time for joy but sadly this isn’t the case for everyone. Across the UK police forces see a spike in domestic abuse cases at Christmas.
Over the festive period an increase in alcohol consumption and 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 households in Merseyside.
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. We can listen and we can take action.
Specialist domestic abuse detectives will be out and about during the Christmas and New Year period to accompany patrol officers to domestic abuse incidents in the family home. This is to ensure that victims of domestic abuse receive the best care possible.
The additional measures will ensure that victims are fully supported if they choose to go ahead and make a formal complaint to the police or to access advice from domestic abuse charities.
Detective Inspector Darren Taylor from Investigations 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 often be very upset and emotional when the police are called to an incident and patrols often have to juggle looking after them while dealing with a suspect who may be acting extremely aggressively or violently. We want to ensure that 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.
"The 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 all the help they need if they want to break away from the cycle of abuse they may be suffering."
Every domestic incident is unique to that family or that relationship and the background to each one can be very complex. It is only right that we use the right specialist resources whenever we can so that the victims of this terrible and under-reported crime are protected and their needs are put first.
If you are in immediate danger, always call 999.
If you ring 999 and are not in a safe position to speak to us then cough or tap the phone and press 55, when prompted. This will alert the operator that you need assistance.