Domestic abuse at Christmas and what you can do about it

The festive period unfortunately sees a stark increase in domestic abuse. Financial strains around having a ‘perfect Christmas’, increased alcohol consumption and spending more time together indoors whilst workplaces may be closed are all factors that create elevated emotions and tension within households.  

People often do not realise that the overwhelmingly unhappy situations they find themselves in are the result of them experiencing one of the many forms of domestic abuse. 

Are you currently experiencing domestic abuse or feel you might be? 

Are you aware of someone who may be being abused? Or do you believe they may become the victim of abuse during the Christmas period? 

It’s essential to know that no one needs to suffer in silence and the earlier you take action the better, even by just learning what help is available to you.  

Chiara Ozuzu, Assistant Solicitor in the Bromleys Family Law Team, is here to discuss where you stand, should yourself or someone you know suffer from domestic abuse. 

What can domestic abuse be defined as? 

‘Domestic Abuse’ is not just physical violence, it also includes much less visibly noticeable forms of abuse such as verbal, psychological, financial and emotional.  

Anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexuality, can become the victim of domestic abuse. Sadly, many will experience it for the first time this Christmas. 

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is facing an abusive situation, call us for a free and confidential chat to discuss the options available on 0161 330 6821.  

What should you do if you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who is? 

1. If you feel in immediate danger seek support right away. 

Do you have immediate concern for the safety of yourself, someone you know, or children of the family involved? Calling the Police is always the first step, and you should ensure that any medical attention for emotional or physical conditions resulting from the abuse are attended to. Following this, it is vital to seek long term help as soon as possible, do not wait for the Christmas period to end before doing so. 

2. Seek confidential help if you find yourself unsure of what to do. 

Reaching out for help can be daunting, and we recognise the sensitive nature of these circumstances. At Bromleys, we want you to feel comfortable with us from the outset. When you come to us, we can talk you through the different options that are available to you in complete confidence and help you understand where you stand. We can also look into the suitability of legal aid for your situation.  

3. Protect the children of the family involved. 

It is important to understand that domestic abuse significantly impacts children. They can suffer from short and long term emotional and cognitive harm caused by even the subtler forms of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, children can also directly suffer themselves. We are here to support you and your children and ensure you are protected.  

4. There are other steps you can take if you do not feel ready to seek help. 

Keeping a record of all incidents and events you feel might be abusive is a good starting point. You can also begin planning if you feel a situation is building, by ensuing you have emergency supplies such as essential items and money. This will allow you to leave home quickly and with little notice should you find yourself in a dangerous situation. If you are able to, stay in regular contact with a family member or friend who can make sure you do not become isolated and can seek access to help on your behalf should you need it. 

If you are facing or feel you might face domestic abuse this Christmas, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.  

Practical things we can do to help if you are facing domestic abuse this Christmas. 

We aim to take practical action while also helping you to understand where you stand in this difficult situation. From helping you understand how your financial needs can be met during and following a separation, to discussing the possibility of a Non-Molestation Order. This Order can be sought if someone is threatening violence towards you or your children, or if they are pursuing a third party to do so on their half. 

Another option to consider is an Occupation Order, this useful if you find yourself worried about living in close proximity to a potential abuser. This Order clearly defines who can live in the family home and if the other party is required to leave. These Orders differ from case to case to allow for the protection to be the right fit for each individual situation. 

If you are worried about coming to harm, you have already been a victim of abuse or you are concerned about someone who may be in an abusive situation then please speak up. There is help available and our team at Bromleys is here to help you find a safe way out.  

Our Family Team at Bromleys have set up a dedicated Domestic Abuse helpline 0161 331 3887 and we also have an emergency out-of-hours number 07785 531221. Alternatively you can fill in our online form  or you can email us at  and we will call you back.