POLICE urge victims of domestic abuse to speak out this Christmas, rather than suffer in silence.
Traditionally, the number of offences seem to increase around the festive period due to an increase in drinking, money issues and stress levels rising.
Therefore, victims of domestic abuse are being encouraged to speak out in order to keep residents safe in their own home this Christmas time.
In 2012, 2,871 domestic abuse incidents were reported across the Cheshire eastern area, between the months of November and January.
DCI Chris Ankers told the Crewe Chronicle last year that, “Christmas is a period whereby money issues come to fore.
“Combined with the increased consumption of alcohol and the fact people are drinking more to excess, these things can end up taking their toll.
“We’re also spending more time together, and sometimes, the more time people spend together, the worse the friction can get”.
Cheshire overall however, has a high domestic violence rate for the rest of the year, with statistics showing that of 4,649 recorded assaults with injury, 1,323 were domestic abuse related, between 2012-2013.
In June this year, a new scheme was set up in order to help domestic abuse victims in the Cheshire area, allowing authorities to notify when offenders are released from prison and through the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, police are now able to inform the public if new partners are documented as having a violent past.
Officers wish to warn members of the public that domestic abuse can take place in many different forms, from physical or emotional abuse to sexual abuse.
Police define it as ‘controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those who have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”.
It’s also important to remember than domestic abuse can happen between anyone in these situations, not just the more traditional and more widely acknowledged form of man and wife but also between siblings, parents or more distant family members.
To report any ongoing incidents of domestic abuse call 999.
To report any other concerns call Cheshire police on 101 or the national 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000247.
For more information on domestic violence safety visit: http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/crime_prevention_and_emergenci/domestic_abuse/domestic_abuse_partnership.aspx