The number of calls doubled the day after England’s first World Cup match on 21 November. And the calls show that the rising cost of living and pressures of Christmas are also contributing.
A client from Stop Domestic Abuse shared: “There was a small glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel to escape my abuser, now with the cost-of-living crisis that tunnel is very, very, dark”.
Claire Lambon, CEO of Stop Domestic Abuse said:
“We are acutely aware that cases of domestic abuse increase during the holiday season as families and couples spend more time together at home. The daunting reality faced for many victims of domestic abuse is that this Christmas, home is not a safe place. We also have additional pressures caused by the cost of living crisis and men’s World Cup, and we’ve seen a sharp increase in calls.
“If you are affected by domestic abuse, I would urge you to contact Stop Domestic Abuse for help and support, and in an emergency always dial 999. Our Helpline can be reached on 0330 0533 630.”
As part of ongoing work to support victims of domestic abuse, Safer Portsmouth has re-launched their is This Love? campaign, which aims to highlight different signs of domestic abuse and help residents understand where they can get support.
Cllr Jason Fazackarley, Cabinet Member for Safety in the Community at Portsmouth City Council, said: “There’s no excuse for this rise in domestic abuse. We understand this can be a really difficult time of year for our residents, and we want to make sure people understand where they can get help if they experience domestic abuse.
“The signs are not as clear as people may think, and it’s important residents understand the different signs as many people may not realise they’re in an abusive relationship.”
Cllr Kirsty Mellor, Portsmouth City Council’s champion for violence against women and girls, added: “Experiencing domestic abuse can be frightening and lonely, and it can be hard to ask for help. Please remember there’s lots of people who can support you, and you won’t be turned away.”
Portsmouth’s Detective Chief Inspector and Domestic Abuse Lead Dal Andrews said:
“Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary continue to work, and will do so throughout the festive period, with local commissioned services and charitable organisations to ensure the safety of victims and make them feel confident and comfortable to report all domestic-related incidents to police. During the festive period we will have additional resources available to us across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – including dedicated domestic abuse cars – to ensure that we can provide the best response that we can to all calls for service.
“We are absolutely clear that we do not tolerate any form of domestic abuse or violence. We will do everything in our power to identify offenders, engaging with our victims and pursue an appropriate outcome. As always, if you are being abused, or you know someone that is, please call 101 and report it to police, or make a report online via the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary website. If it is an emergency, dial 999 immediately.”
A free, short quiz is available at www.isthislove.org.uk to help residents consider if their relationship is healthy. Based on the answers given in the quiz, residents will receive advice and information on where to get support. The quiz is completely confidential.
Residents can contact Stop Domestic Abuse by calling 0330 0533 630 and selecting option one for Portsmouth or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Portsmouth helpline is available from 9am-9pm Monday – Friday and 10am-6pm on weekends and bank holidays. It will be available on Christmas Day and Boxing Day for emergencies.
Stop Domestic Abuse deliver support services in Portsmouth and across Hampshire to anyone affected by unhealthy and abusive relationships. They support victims, family/friends, those who are abusive, violent or controlling in their relationship and want to change, and professionals. The service also provides refuge accommodation for women and children and community-based outreach support for victims and survivors.