Christmas is a time for family

What about when yours is torn apart? Christmas, like many traditions is about bringing people together. In our respective support networks many of us take the time to get together in each other homes to share food and drink and conversation.

For most of us this is an exciting, joyous period but for others it can mean humiliation, fear or even danger. The Women’s Aid study published this week showed us the scale of femicide in the UK and how it is predominantly carried out by a partner, ex-partner of family member known to the victim, meaning that their home is a place of danger.

The rise in alcohol consumption, stretched finances and the intensity of family reunions can lead to a spike in cases of abuse and violence. Most of us are lucky in that we have a choice to leave when we experience uncomfortable or unnerving behaviour. For some, their lack of resources mean their options are limited. Where can they go to that would be safe, can they bring their children, would they be protected?

This is the very foundation of why Solace exists. Our vision is of a world where women and children live their lives free from all forms of violence but we are not there yet.  Statistics from the last year alone have shown that reports of rape and sexual assault increased by over 20% and 144,000 reported incidents of domestic violence took place in London. This means that more women and children are seeking Solace’s support to help them rebuild their lives after violence and abuse.

We launched our Christmas campaign ‘Scruff Get’s Home’ to tell the story of Scruff, Harry and Jess, a family finding their way back together after being torn apart by abuse. They needed safe accommodation, counselling and support to build a stronger future.  You can help bring our services to more families this Christmas in two simple ways below.

1.    Give the gift of a safer future.

£20 could save a life.

2.    Share your support on social with something like:

I am proud to be supporting @solacewomensaid this #Christmas. They do vital work to reach thousands of women and children affected by domestic violence in #London - because no survivor should stand alone. Will you join me in helping them? #BringUsTogether #Scruffgetshome #EndViolence

When we stand together we can make a change. There is no typical survivor of abuse and undoubtedly we all know someone who is currently or has gone through it. Look out for friends, family members and even strangers you come across over the holidays. Your consideration and care could make the world of a difference.