For the majority, Christmas really is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. But for some people, it can be the most isolating and scary time of year. While it feels like everyone else takes a break to retreat to the warmth and happiness of their homes and families over the festive period, for domestic abuse victims the trauma doesn’t stop.
Christmas time goes hand in hand with large quantities of alcohol – a common trigger of physical and verbal abuse – meaning attacks can spike at this time. And when you consider that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, it brings home just how many women will be living in fear this Christmas.
In a bid to remind us of this, domestic violence charity Refuge has released a series of powerful, reversible poems. Read one way, the poems tell the story of a happy family, but when you read them in reverse they reveal the terrifying reality of living with an abuser.
AULD LANG SYNE
“Two women are killed by their current or former partners every week in England and Wales alone,” said Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge. “Domestic violence happens all year round – including at Christmas. We want women to know that no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence and they should turn to us for support.”