During the month of December, most families are preparing for the most joyous time of the year. However, for some, the festive period is the time of year that they dread the most.
It is reported that approximately 900,000 children witness domestic violence every year and this statistic is particularly high during Christmas time. Childline has stated that a child will contact them every 25 seconds during the Christmas period after witnessing domestic abuse in their household. The increase in this could be due to various different factors. The most prominent factor to note is that more people are drinking alcohol excessively during Christmas. Although, the consumption of alcohol is not the cause of domestic violence, it can exacerbate the chances of a perpetrator abusing their victim. Due to alcohol increasing irrational thoughts, it in turn can increase an individual’s anxiety and depressive thoughts. This consequently can increase the severity and frequency of domestic violence being committed.
The excessive consumption of alcohol combined with the financial pressure that the festive season brings with it will exert an additional burden on any relationship. This burden is severely increased in a relationship that is categorised by domestic abuse.
In addition, in the current COVID-19 circumstances, these emotions are even more heightened. The London Metropolitan police have said that they received an increased number of calls for service following domestic violence incidences following the lockdown. It was recorded that in April, May and June, which covers the period during and immediately after the first lockdown, domestic violence took up a larger proportion of all offences compared to previous years. Around 20% of all offences that were recorded by police during this time were flagged as domestic violence. This is a notable increase as in previous years, this was less than 15%. So, with many parts of the country now entering into a third lockdown during December, it is more than likely that reports of domestic violence will increase.
The Family Law Act 1996 offers a victim of domestic abuse with different remedies that could be put in place to protect them. This could include a Non-Molestation Order and an Occupation Order which has the effect of excluding the perpetrator from the family home.
At Rosewood Solicitors, we understand how difficult it is for a victim of domestic abuse to come forward and take the first step in receiving help. We are Family Law specialists who will understand your matter and will provide you with expert advice and assistance at what we know is an extremely difficult time. Should you require advice on a Family Law matter, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Law Team on 01483 901414 to book your free consultation.