21st October 2021

Coronavirus, Christmas and domestic abuse

Most people will be looking forward to being home celebrating Christmas with their family, but for those in an abusive relationship home is not always a safe place to be.

Somerset County Council has therefore extended its domestic abuse campaign, #NoClosedDoors2020, ahead of Christmas and New Year with the clear message – ‘help is still available’.

The Council would like to reassure anyone requiring support that the domestic abuse service will continue to be available throughout the holiday season – sadly a time of year where domestic abuse often escalates.

In what has been a challenging year with, government restrictions, money concerns, lockdowns and the isolation of working from home, the festive season brings added pressure – the financial cost of, further periods of time together, over indulgence, the pressure to create a perfect family Christmas and keeping up appearances may increase domestic tensions.

Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing said: “Domestic abuse is never acceptable in whatever form it takes, and we know that the Christmas holidays can make tensions intensify, especially at the moment with government coronavirus restrictions in place.

“If you find yourself in this situation, or you know someone who is, please reach out to our domestic abuse services – help is and will continue to be available throughout the Christmas period and beyond.”

Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service is open: Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Weekends and bank holidays 9am – 1pm.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: http://www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 69 49 999.

In an emergency you should always dial 999. If you are worried that an abuser may overhear your call you can remain silent, tap the phone and dial 55 when prompted by the operator who will send help.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired you can register with emergencySMS.net. Once registered you will be able to send a text to 999 if you require help in an emergency.