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The darker side of Christmas

View profile for Liz Headley
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The media announced today that reports of ‘Domestic Violence and Anti Social behaviour’ (DVA) have risen by over 30% in the last 12 months in the UK. This could be perceived as encouraging, with possibly victims finding the courage to disclose abuse within a relationship, safe in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously and that there are agencies out there that will help and support them. 

It is just very sad to think that there are so many individuals, both male and female, who are suffering from the effects of violence and abuse. DVA behaviours are never acceptable whatever form they take but it can appear that Christmas unfortunately provides the ‘ideal’ circumstances for abusers to indulge their very negative behaviours. 

We are all encouraged by the media to be excessive at this time of year with our spending, our alcohol consumption and our social activities to name but a few. However if you are living with a controlling and dominant partner there may be a risk attached to engaging in any of these excesses. 

Alcohol can sometimes significantly affect both behaviour and perceptions and for those inclined to lash out physically and/or verbally there can be a far greater chance for this to happen when under the influence of drink. Financial abuse is where one person in a relationship controls all the finances and their partner has to ask (plead) for money, this situation can be magnified when presents and festive food and drink must be bought leaving the victim of the abuse brow beaten and exhausted when they are expected to provide these festive luxuries.

Christmas also provides emotional abusers plenty of opportunity to exert their control, social events are more frequent and comments such as; ‘I saw you flirting with ….you’re disgusting”, “what time will you be back? The door will be locked if you’re not back by then…”, “No, you’re not going…” “You’re not going out looking like that are you?” “If you cared about me and the kids you wouldn’t go” “I won’t be looking after those kids, find a babysitter…” can be rife. For some it’s far easier to stay at home and become more firmly ensconced under the thumb of their dominant partner.

So when you’re indulging in the sparkle and glitter of the festive season spare a thought for those who can’t relish the joys of Christmas in the same way and who know that if they do there will almost certainly be a price to pay.

For those affected by any type of abuse maybe a positive 2016 New Year’s Resolution would be to consider parting from your abusive partner. Contact Brethertons Family Team for guidance and support.

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