While Christmas is a time of celebration for many, it can be a lonely and difficult time for someone affected by domestic abuse. 

When offices close and leave is taken during the festive season, a victim can be forced to spend more time with their abuser, without the respite of work. Many abusers isolate victims from family and friends, meaning that Christmas can leave people alone and vulnerable. With the cost-of-living crisis, the cost of leaving a perpetrator may make fleeing an abusive relationship even more challenging this Christmas. 

As an employer, you can play an important role in supporting employees affected by domestic abuse by: 

  • Making sure all employees know what domestic abuse is and what they should do if they are concerned about their own situation or the situation of a colleague 

  • Reminding all employees about the signs of domestic abuse to be aware of and to look out for  

  • Staying connected with all employees over the festive period and ensuring leaders, allies and managers are ready to support anyone affected by domestic abuse 

  • Keeping the office open over Christmas, if possible, so that a victim can retreat to this safer place away from their abuser 

  • Considering how you can best support survivors during the cost-of-living crisis 

Get in touch if you need further support on how to implement a domestic abuse response within your organisation. 

If your business is raising funds for charity this festive season, consider giving to a front-line organisation which supports people affected by domestic abuse. This is a good way to increase awareness of domestic abuse and your policies and actions as an employer. We have a list of front-line support services on our website. We are aware that the following front-line organisations are also running Christmas appeals this year: 

  • Refuge is fundraising for an extra £1 million this Christmas to support women and children affected by domestic abuse during the current cost-of-living crisis. Find out more.  

  • Solace, a leading specialist charity in the UK supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence has launched its Christmas campaign, reminding people that it takes a woman on average seven years to leave an abusive relationship. Find out more

  • Hestia is hoping to raise £25,000 to support the work of Children and Family Workers who offer therapeutic support for parents and children during their time in Hestia domestic abuse refuges. Find out more

a woman stands by a curtain and a Christmas tree and looks sadly at her phone