Sunday 20 April 2014

Extra pressure on women leads to a rise in domestic violence cases

Domestic violence can become more severe during the festive season.

The dark side of Christmas will see hidden misery behind closed doors due to domestic violence which can become even more severe during the festive season.

According to Women's Aid, the extra pressures placed on women at this time of the year can exacerbate domestic violence incidents.

Pressures women face include:

* Withholding cash needed for basic necessities like food and heating

* Forcing women to give up work

* Taking the woman's salary

* Putting all bills in the the woman's name.

The Women's Aid national freephone helpline experiences the same levels of calls during this time.

"We know anecdotally from our helpline that women work really hard to keep the peace and calm during the Christmas season and the lead up to it, especially if they have children.

"Callers to the helpline tend to seek support to get through the time rather than active ways to escape the violence," said a spokesperson.

Examples of this financial abuse include withholding money for Christmas presents and food.

Where the relationship has ended, the abusive partner may withhold child maintenance. It can mean the woman is forced to take debt in her name to meet the family financial needs.

Many women who are experiencing the increased abuse will work very hard to maintain the peace so that the family holiday will not be affected.

The Women's Aid helpline is 1800 341 900

Irish Independent

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