South Yorkshire Police offering save haven for domestic abuse victims to speak out this Christmas
People suffering at the hands of violent partners are being urged to speak out - as shock figures reveal around 900, 000 children witness domestic abuse in the UK every year.
South Yorkshire Police said domestic abuse incidents are particularly high over the festive season, often due to excessive drinking.
They have now launched a campaign urging those who are suffering to speak in confidence to police officers.
Detective superintendent Natalie Shaw, force lead for domestic abuse, said: “It’s not just adults who may be suffering at the hands of an abuser, but children too. Children living in a household where domestic abuse is occurring, whether that be physical, emotional, financial or sexual, can be greatly affected by it.
“Christmas for most people will be an extremely happy time, but sadly, incidents of domestic abuse do tend to increase throughout December and in to January.
“We don’t want people to suffer in silence, or feel as though they have no one to turn to, the police are here to help you and to listen to you.”
She added: "Alcohol can become an aggravating factor in incidents of domestic abuse at this time of year and often makes people more aggressive.
"However, domestic abuse is not just violent behaviour towards a partner. If your partner is controlling your finances, preventing you from going out with your friends and seeing your family, that’s also domestic abuse.
“Please don’t suffer in silence this year, we, alongside a wide array of partner agencies, are here to help and support you in any way that we can. Protecting you and your children is our absolute priority.
“We can meet you wherever you feel comfortable, in plain clothes and an unmarked car. We can offer advice on where to go if you want to leave the house with your children, what happens next and we will support you every step of the way.
“Officers in our Safeguarding Adult Teams are there to protect you and to provide you with whatever help, support and advice you need. Our partner agencies will also provide support in terms of helping with financial and housing advice for example.
“If you want to speak to someone, or have concerns that someone you know may be affected by domestic abuse, please get in touch, we will listen and we will help you."
The National Domestic Violence helpline can be contacted on 0808 2000247.
To find out about the range of support and help available visit southyorks.police.uk/CutTheStrings.