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New start this new year for domestic abuse victims
30 Dec | 09:08

Police are urging victims of abuse to make a new start this new year and come forward and report.

Police are urging those suffering abuse to consider a new start for the New Year and come forward to seek help. 

It comes as officers warn that the increased pressure of Christmas, having more time at home and the effects of people drinking more alcohol can often see incidents of domestic abuse rise over the New Year period.

Last year, 194 incidents of domestic abuse were reported on New Year’s Day, meaning on average police received a report of this nature every seven-and-a-half minutes.

New Year's Day sees the highest peak of reports of domestic abuse compared to any other day over the festive period, 108 per cent more than the average day of the week throughout the rest of the year. 

Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC, and Chief Superintendent Scott Hall, from the Force’s Safeguarding Team, are urging parents to think about how this abuse can impact children in the home and are encouraging victims to reach out for help in the New Year.

Dame Vera said: "The festive period can be a very stressful time for a lot of families but sadly for those who are victims of abuse, it can significantly increase their risk. 

"This can also have a tremendous impact on children within an abusive home who have likely witnessed a pattern of abusive behaviour escalating over the festive period. 

"It is of course not just seeing physical violence in the home that can affect children. If someone suffers coercive control at the hand of threats, abuse or taking away their freedom or sense of self, it can have a long-term impact on how children in that home grow up."

Chief Supt Hall is also urging victims to embrace a new start this new year and not to suffer in silence any longer. 

He said: "Domestic abuse is not something that just happens around the festive season - it is all year round. However, we do see a rise in reports around New Year’s Day, typically when people are more likely to be drinking alcohol.

"The new year is often a time for resolutions and making new starts and I would urge anyone who is suffering abuse to take that brave first step and report it to police.

"We are here to fully support victims, keep them safe and, by working with our partners, we are able to provide them with a full wrap-around service of care.

"Sadly, quite often without parents realising, children can suffer greatly when living in an abusive home and we need more than ever for people to come forward and help prevent a child witnessing further abuse."

Northumbria Police is campaigning to raise awareness of the impact that domestic abuse can have on children. The emotional impact of witnessing abuse can lead to anxiousness, nightmares and issues in school. They can experience tense feelings of responsibility, guilt and a sense of powerlessness over their lives. If you are suffering from abuse, please tell someone who can help. Call 999 in an emergency or 0800 066 5555 for confidential advice.#ThroughTheEyesOfAChild

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