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.”