The holiday season brings families together as a time of togetherness and happiness. Along with the joys that Christmas brings comes an increased risk of family and domestic violence. For many families the increase in factors such as: financial difficulty, drugs, alcohol, loneliness, social isolation, and ‘trying to keep up with society’s norms, and expectations’ can bring out the worst in some people who then abuse their own family members.
Midland Information Debt & Legal Advocacy Service Inc (MIDLAS) offers a free legal service focused on assisting victims of family and domestic violence, and anticipates an increase in demand for the service over the Christmas period. MIDLAS Paralegal Holly Calder has witnessed first hand the increased affect that the Christmas period can have on the isolation and disconnect felt by many victims of domestic violence. “ The MIDLAS legal service regularly assists clients who report that they were victimised throughout the evening, after work, on the weekend or particularly during holiday periods. However it is not only the suffering of abuse and victimisation that clients are seeking assistance for at MIDLAS. Issues of debt, housing requirements, and concerns for their children are likely associations for victims of family domestic violence.”
Kylie Dunjey, counsellor and manager of Relationships Australia WA, believes, “Christmas can be a high pressure, high stress time of the year, both emotionally and economically. These stresses take its toll on couples and often expose the cracks that lead to relationship breakdowns (http://bit.ly/Ynhk31).” Those things that are contributing to the stress of a family are certainly connected to this time of the year.
If you are experiencing any form of family or domestic violence, it is vital for you to stay safe. A downloadable version of the MIDLAS safety plan can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.midlas.org.au/midlas-domestic-violence-safety-plan. Alternatively, you can contact MIDLAS by visiting our contact page: http://www.midlas.org.au/contacts and leaving us a private message to book an appointment with our highly experience and dedicated legal team. You can also make an appointment by contacting MIDLAS on 9250 2123.
MIDLAS aims to empower disadvantaged and vulnerable people within our community who are experiencing distress by providing them with free services and confidential information, options, referral and support so they can navigate barriers to achieve a better way of life. To make an appointment or find out more information visit our website: www.midlas.org.au or give us a call on 9250 2123.