The tree is still up, and the remnants of presents are scattered across the floor. Yet the children sit still in their room. Afraid to go downstairs and look at the damage caused. After the argument, there was a loud slap. They are unsure who hit who, but they know their mum has gone very quiet, and the arguing stopped abruptly. Imaginations are going crazy trying to work out what has happened, whether their mum is okay.
Charity services are worried
These are two of the 16,000 children that The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) believes have been exposed to domestic abuse this Christmas. Their figures show that in 2022 over 400,000 could be victims.
The contacts with Charities are increasing
Lockdown was difficult for many families. Research conducted by Refuge found a 61% increase in contacts to their Domestic Abuse Helpline between April 2020 and February 2021. One in five of these callers had experienced threats on their lives, 10% of abusers used weapons, and 16% strangled their victim. The exact numbers are awaited for the Christmas period.
LGA and Women’s Aid noticed a trend where domestic abuse surges in December, with 19% of all calls to the police related to this crime. Calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England also rise by 22%.
They state that
“We need to view domestic abuse as everyone’s business. Help is available if you are experiencing abuse yourself or are concerned about someone you know.”
With some areas in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire providing 86% of the total of recorded domestic abuse offences, 76% of perpetrators being male and in their late 20’s, a culture of acceptability needs breaking down.
The Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison intends to do that. As he is aware that
“It also affects any children in a relationship and, for those involved, it becomes a vicious cycle which is hard to break free from.”
He has introduced a campaign that focuses on the perpetrators to prevent and deter the behaviour.
The pattern of domestic abuse crimes being a large part of all recorded offences is confirmed by West Midlands Police, who receive an average of 188 domestic abuse reports each day.
For children off school and exposed, a lasting impact is almost guaranteed. According to EIF, these children are likely to experience abusive relationships, and misuse drugs or alcohol. Two of the leading causes of homelessness.
The Clothing Collective is determined to help clothe those facing homelessness and poverty, whether domestic abuse or other cause. If there was a way to reduce the numbers in this position, that would be preferred.
Through the use of vouchers, The Clothing Collective attempts to support the reestablishment of pride, dignity, and respect. You too could help the homeless and those facing poverty.
To help those in need, you can make donations to the Clothing Collective here
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