Domestic abuse at Christmas

Reports and incidents of domestic abuse always increase during the Christmas period. Increased alcohol consumption or stress over money or how to juggle everything at Christmas is not an excuse.

Abuse is power and control. Although certain times of the year can make it worse, they will use what they can to justify their behaviour and continue abusing.

Domestic Abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. Domestic Abuse can be experienced by anyone over the age of 16 and it is very common.

It can include, but is not limited to:

  • coercive control, a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence
  • psychological and/or emotional
  • physical or sexual
  • financial or economic
  • harassment and stalking
  • online or digital

Make yourself heard

If you are in danger and need the police but can't speak

  • dial 999
  • listen to the questions from the operator
  • respond by coughing or tapping your phone if you can
  • if prompted press 55, this tells the operator it's a genuine call and you'll be put through to the police

Support available

We also have a One Stop Shop where you can drop in, further information can be found on our domestic abuse webpage.

Signs to look out for


  • broken bones
  • bruises
  • changes to appearance, for example the way they are dressed
  • cuts
  • limping
  • whether they now wear more/less makeup changes in their weight


  • anger, irritability, difficulty regulating emotions
  • appearing uncomfortable, withdrawn, nervous or tense
  • minimising worrying behaviours
  • using coping mechanisms for example self-harm, drugs and alcohol


  • no control over finances, for example no access to a bank account
  • unable to answer the phone
  • unable to leave the house
  • unable to socialise, obtain education or employment
  • witnessing violence whether that’s visually or audibly