Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The chestnuts are roasting, stockings are hanging, and we are all soaking up as many festivities as we can before the cold bite of January comes back around. We surround ourselves with our closest friends and family and we feel the mulled wine warming our cheeks, as we laugh and we love our way through the holiday season. All the stress of present buying and ribbon tying is forgotten the moment the turkey hits the table and we eat the pigs in blankets that we look forward to all year round; it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

But for some, the Christmas magic doesn’t befall them- for some, Christmas is another day of fear, of abuse. The decorations still hang, the turkey is still carved, but it doesn’t summon the same joy. Domestic abuse doesn’t end with the holiday season, and many people continue to suffer, with likely less access to the support services that seek to help them.

For those experiencing domestic abuse, Christmas can mark an increased level of anxiety and fear, and many organisations report a spike in domestic abuse over the Christmas period. Heightened levels of stress, alcohol and time spent together within a household can create a toxic environment for unsafe homes, lending itself to more abuse. For domestic abuse survivors, Christmas can be a difficult time.

But Mums In Need would like to remind those who may be suffering that there are support services available throughout the Christmas season which are listed below, and that there is always help there for those who need it. Alongside these great services, we advise that you try and find small ways to seek comfort, concentrating on the little things that may bring you some relief; this could be as simple as running a relaxing bath in order to find some peace, even if this is only temporary.

Christmas can be a difficult time for many, not just for domestic abuse survivors- from those recently bereaved of loved ones, to families facing financial struggles- and the prospect of the facing the festive period can often feel daunting. But it is important to remember that you are not alone, whatever struggles you may be facing, and that there is always help if you need it, and know where to look.

And for those of us lucky enough to not know the difficulties at Christmas that some face, Christmas should be a time for care and consideration, a time where we recognise the support our loved ones may need, whether we know it or not. It is easy to assume that our nearest and dearest find it only too easy to join in with the infectious joy of the season without noticing the problems laying underneath. So in between the frantic present shopping and bauble hanging, spend a little time thinking about those that may need your help. Drop round to see that friend who maybe hasn’t been around so much the past few months, make sure that they are okay. Help us to make sure that everyone has themselves a merry little Christmas.