For most families Christmas means fun, presents and time together, but for some, the festive period means blazing rows, sleepless nights and worry because of domestic abuse.
As part of a Christmas safety campaign, safe & sound, Dudley’s community safety partnership is raising awareness of domestic abuse and the impact it can have on children.
For people experiencing domestic abuse, Christmas is a difficult time of year, agencies across the borough continue to work together to make sure support is available when it’s needed.
Children who should be looking forward to a visit from Santa can often become the hidden victims and in the majority of cases they are involved in some way.
For help and support victims, their families and friends can contact the borough’s single point of contact in 01384 455411 or text or Whatsapp 07384 466181 (9am to 9pm weekdays).
People who suspect a child is being harmed or neglected or is living with domestic abuse should call children’s service’s referral and advice service on 0300 555 0050. Referrals can be made anonymously.
Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said:
"Christmas should be a really enjoyable time of year but sadly in some families domestic abuse will mean this isn’t the case.
"It’s important victims know there are people in the borough who can help, no matter what time of year it is.
"Children who are exposed to abusive domestic situations often become the hidden victims and it’s everyone’s responsibility to report if they suspect a child is at risk in any way."
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, contact Dudley’s single point of contact on 01384 455411 or in an emergency dial 999, if it’s too dangerous to speak press ‘55’ when connected and the operator will know you need help.
To find out more about support available in the borough visit www.dudleysafeandsound.org/domesticabuse