The festive period is a time when most people relax and enjoy themselves, but for others it’s a time of anxiety and isolation.
Statistics show that domestic abuse and sexual violence spiked last year across the UK, with some police services reporting an increase of 16% in domestic abuse calls.
For this reason, the team from Croydon’s Family Justice Centre (FJC) is keen to ensure men and women know about its services, and a new Decaux poster, on display across the borough details where help is available.
This year, the team’s wide-ranging work is supported by Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid, a charity that aims to help anyone suffering domestic abuse to make informed choices about their future.
The support service has had a base at the FJC since July, and has helped 33 women in Croydon who are experiencing domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds (this means that, despite having a residency permit to live in the UK, the individual is unable to claim most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance that are paid for by the state).
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“Christmas is when most people look forward to being with family and friends, but for some it is a fearful time as they try to avoid abuse from their partners.
“Please don’t suffer in silence, as help is available.”
If you, or someone you know, needs support over the festive period, please contact the FJC on 020 8688 0100. The centre is open every day (with the exception of the bank holidays).
You can also call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 (freephone line, 24hours a day).
In an emergency call the police on 999.