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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 20 January, 2018

Christmas time 'can trigger more abuse' for victims of domestic violence

Women’s Aid is appealing for donations to help it continue to offer its helpline services.

Image: Domestic abuse via Shutterstock

WOMEN WHO EXPERIENCE domestic violence have told Women’s Aid that Christmas time can lead to more stress and abuse.

Women’s Aid said today that women disclosed to them that the extra stress of the festive period triggers more frequent and at times more severe abuse at home, including emotional abuse of children.

The organisation is now appealing for donations to help it continue to offer its freephone helpline (1800 341 900), which takes 30 calls from women a day.

Women’s Aid Director Margaret Martin said Christmas can be a time when “fear, intimidation, casual cruelty and sudden flashes of violence are directed towards them and their children.”

She said that violent partners can use the holidays to threaten the wellbeing of children, “using them as pawns in control and intimidation, during what should be a time of joy”.

Martin said that many women “will work very hard to maintain the status quo, despite ongoing and increasing abuse, so that the family holiday will not be affected and that the children have as positive an experience as possible”.

The National Freephone Helpline receives 30 calls each day from women who say they are frightened, isolated, and at risk in their own homes.

  • Women’s Aid operates the National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900
  • Donations to the Women’s Aid Helpline Appeal can be made online at or by phone 01 678 8858.

Read: Domestic violence refuge to finally open after two-year wait>

Read: One quarter of women experience physical or sexual violence from a partner>

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