With the festive season fast approaching, not everybody’s Christmas is festive. For victims of domestic abuse it can be stressful, frightening and even abusive.
Local officers and agencies were out-and-about staffing stalls during Domestic Violence Awareness Week, 23 to 27 November 2009 to remind people that help is available. Various agencies such as police, Womens Aid and Essex Probation Service offered free, confidential advice and support at stands across the Epping Forest, Harlow and Brentwood areas.
Picture caption – Beth Knight from VAEF and PCSO Shelley Cole on a stall at Epping (picture used with kind permission from Essex Police).
Domestic Abuse Liaision officer, Sgt Shirley Cole said: “Raised tensions leading to violence and abuse can occur within families spending long periods of time in close proximity during this time of year, in particular over the festive period. Essex Police will take positive action against all offenders. We will be working over this period and will arrest and remove anyone committing any offences. We will also be there to provide support for families and any victims of abuse.
Domestic abuse is a crime more common than people realise and even if you are not experiencing it yourself, the chances are, someone you know is.
Domestic violence is any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members. It can affect anybody, regardless of their gender or sexuality. The violence can be psychological, physical, sexual or emotional.
If you, or someone you know is experiencing any abuse, contact the Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime Unit on 01279 625493 or Harlow police station on 0300 333 4444.
Victim support helpline: 0845 4565 995 between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.