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Domestic abuse expected to increase over Christmas

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

While Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of year, for victims of domestic abuse it can be even more scary and dangerous as festive season stresses can lead to an increase in domestic abuse incidents.

Shine usually sees an increase of 30 to 40 per cent in domestic abuse referrals over the holiday period. These referrals are mostly from Police.

Shine client services director Jill Proudfoot urges people who witness domestic violence or abuse to intervene if it’s safe to do so, if not, ring the police.

"The increase in domestic abuse during the Christmas period may be due to a range of factors. They include added financial stress, an increase in alcohol consumption, difficult relationship dynamics with extended family, decisions around where and how to spend the holidays, access to children for separated parents, and the list goes on.

"It is important to understand these kinds of stressors do not actually cause domestic abuse, but rather inflame abusive dynamics that already exist. For example, a partner who uses various tactics to control a partner may use financial stress or alcohol as an excuse to lash out," Ms Proudfoot says.

It is important that victims of abuse know where to seek help during this busy time of year, especially when many agencies and service providers are closed, or are open only for limited hours during the holidays.

The Shine Helpline is operating as usual, seven days a week from 9am to 11pm, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Shine Helpline staff can assist callers with safety planning, risk assessment, and referral information, or can simply provide emotional support and a listening ear.

Shine toll-free domestic abuse Helpline 0508-744-633 (7 days/week, 9am - 11pm)

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