The LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow has published a list of tips designed to advise the victims of violence on how to seek help over the festive period.
The charity warned that the levels of violence in already abusive relationships can intensify as more time is spent with partners and families during Christmas.
They warn that feelings of despair, isolation, and abuse can increase as people feel the need to try harder for the sake of family celebrations and Christmas spirit.
Rita Hirani, Chief Executive of Broken Rainbow UK, said: “Christmas can be a very difficult time for people in abusive relationships. It is a period when there are further financial pressures, families spend more time together and expectations are high”
The National Broken Rainbow LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline is open to support anyone affected by domestic violence over the Christmas holidays.
The seven tips for Christmas issued by the charity are:
1. If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999
2. Call the National Broken Rainbow LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline on 0300 999 5428 to talk confidentially to another LGBT person who will listen and help you understand your options
3. Email Broken Rainbow UK if you don’t feel like talking over the phone. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Talk to a friend. Tell someone what’s going on. It helps to share you problems with someone you can trust
5. Violence is not your fault, no matter what excuses you’re given
6. Plan for your safety – think about the worst-case scenario: if you had to leave in a hurry, what would you take with you? Where can you go to be safe and get help? Remember you can always go to the police for help.
7. Keep your mobile fully charged and handy.
A quarter of LGBT people in the UK experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. The charity urges anyone affected to visit www.broken-rainbow.org.uk for more information.