As well as all the joy that it brings, Christmas can be a tough time when partners are separated, particularly when there are kids involved.

Police have conducted research that shows more than half of the domestic abuse cases they deal with over Christmas occur when ex-partners get together.

But when you throw a few festive drinks, financial pressures, family dynamics and the inevitable disagreements and squabbles into the mix too, it is easy for arguments to erupt.

Detective Chief Inspector Becky Dickinson at Humberside Police wants to share the message that tackling domestic abuse is a top priority for the force.

She says that victims or friends and family of victims should know that help is only a call away on 101 or 999 in an emergency, with specialists trained in how to tackle domestic abuse on the end of the line.

Detective Chief Inspector Becky Dickinson

"At Christmas time we see an increase in ex-partners getting back together, especially when children are involved," said Det Chf Insp Dickinson.

"When this is combined with tighter finances and an increase in drinking, it can be a perfect storm for domestic abuse

"But we want people to know that they can contact the police any time if they have any concerns about a friend, family member or neighbour, as well as the person who is directly being abused calling us.

Watch: The 999 call a domestic abuse victim wants you to listen to

"We can give out advice, make home visits and talk to you about how to protect yourself. We have dedicated resource to tackle domestic abuse with experts within the force control room 24 hours a day and independent domestic abuse advocates on hand to help victims.

"Over Christmas we will have extra specialist staff to support victims and it is important for people to come to us for help.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone – no matter their age, gender, sexuality or background.

Such abuse is not just about a person hitting or threatening their partner.  It can include a whole range of things including belittling, constant criticism, isolating someone from their friends and family, sexual abuse and financial control. 

It can take place in all sorts of relationships, including marriages and partnerships and between close family members.  It often continues after a relationship has ended.

Here is were to access support services in our region.

Hull

The domestic abuse service in Hull offers support anyone experiencing domestic abuse who is aged 16 years or over.

The types of support available include:

To talk to someone in confidence, please call:

East Riding

The Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership (DVAP) offers support to anyone over the age of 16 living with or fleeing from domestic violence and abuse in the East Riding.

We provide information, advice, guidance and both emotional and practical support around legal options, housing, welfare benefits, staying safely at home and, in high risk cases, finding somewhere to stay.

We can help you remain safely in your home by providing home security measures, including lifeline alarms, fire checks and personal alarms.

Please contact:

DVAP on 01482 396368
Broken Rainbow UK 24 hour help line for LGBT couples on 0300 999 5428.

"We are here to protect and help people so that they have the Christmas that they deserve, not that they fear. We want to alleviate any pressure and are here for people every step of the way."

The message from police for domestic abuse victims is "we will listen and we will act" and that no one needs to fear coming them to report domestic abuse.

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