We’ve brought together some tips to help those who experience domestic violence stay safer and a couple of ideas for family members who have a loved one in an abusive relationship. These tips may not be suitable for everyone, so please remember you can call the National Domestic Violence 24 hour Helpline on 0808 2000 247 – if it’s an emergency please call 999.
If you are going to spend the Christmas period with extended family who you know will support you, call that person in advance to ask them for support and intervention should a situation turn violent.
In violent or emergency situations, you may not be able to text or say much. Have an agreed ‘safe’ word or phrase with your close friends or family member who agrees to have their phone on standby to receive any emergency calls/texts. Keep it short and simple.
Keep your phone and some money on you, remembering to keep it fully charged.
You can use holiday visits to extended family and friends as a chance to minimise being alone with your abuser.
For friends and families of victims/survivors:
If you think your friend or family member is a victim of domestic violence, offer to be on standby for them to text or call throughout the Christmas period.
If a victim/survivor approaches you with a plan to escape their abuser during the Christmas period, agree to do so and be on standby to help.
Do a random act of kindness, for example offer to babysit the children for a few hours, send over some small festive goodies such as cookies, candy or something else traditional with a kind note.
If you fear for your friend or family member’s life over the Christmas period, call or text them once a day at a random time to see if they are alright.