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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
I know it’s a very different start to the year and I am sure we will all remember it as such. This time last year no-one could have predicted that 2021 would begin in this way, but let’s all try and remember that positives can sometimes come out of negative situations. I can only speak for myself and those that I love and care about, but I do believe that most of us have developed more sensitivity about each other’s wellbeing. I think that most emails and texts that I receive show some concern about ‘wellness’ e.g. “I hope you are well”, “Stay safe and well”, “Take care of yourself”, all these phrases now regularly appear in contact that I have with other people. This concern mustn’t be overlooked and hopefully will continue in the future.
Many of us are considering others in a more significant way, we are putting our needs to one side and becoming more aware of other’s vulnerability. We are making decisions based on how they might affect others; how can I support a loved one, who I know to be more at risk, how can I try and make sure my elderly relative remains safe and well until things feel safer? What we may have done previously with no thought is now given much more consideration and equally I believe most of us have become more thoughtful.
I hope we can all continue to become more self-aware and reflect on how our decisions and behaviour might affect others.
Christmas being “the most wonderful time of the year”, to quote the song, should be a happy, magical time with families coming together to celebrate in whatever ways they enjoy, however this year most of us have been very socially restricted and have had to have a very different festive season. Christmas can also be a stressful, difficult time especially when money is short and there is tension at home. January is known to be a month where individuals can experience low mood and there can be friction in relationships for a number of reasons and now the country is back in lockdown relationships may be under greater pressure.
The media have not been shy of informing us that calls to domestic abuse agencies have risen significantly over the last 9 months. Sadly, domestic abuse has been around for a long time, we have found no cure for it and it would seem that the lockdown situation has exacerbated its prevalence.
For those of you who are feeling vulnerable, worried that your partner might be abusing you, please do contact an agency who can offer you some advice and support. There is no shame in disclosing to others what you feel you might be experiencing; part of the abuse cycle invites sufferers to minimise their situation but this is not healthy or helpful. Specially trained operatives are there to listen in a non-judgemental way and help you make any decisions that you might be struggling with. Here are some numbers to call if you feel you need support:
Domestic Abuse Support: 0808 802 3333
Refuge: 0808 2000 247
Mankind: 01823 334244
Childline: 0800 1111
In the event of an emergency call 999.
If you are worried that you might be in an abusive relationship please call the family team at Brethertons whose training will allow them to advise you and legal and emotional support can be offered to you. 01788 579579