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With the festivities just around the corner, a leading charity in the fight against domestic abuse is sending out a clear message for victims and survivors.

West Mercia Women’s Aid – which works throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire – always witnesses an increase in domestic abuse incidents over the Christmas and New Year period.

Jan Frances, Chief Executive of West Mercia Women’s Aid said: “At a time when most agencies are closed and help is difficult to find, our Christmas message to all those suffering in silence is that our services are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  If you are worried, please pick up the phone and call our confidential 24 hour helpline numbers.  We will listen, support and help you either to escape the violence immediately – even on Christmas Day – or to plan for a happier and safer life in 2016.”

In the West Mercia region, 1 in 8 women will be experiencing domestic violence and abuse this Christmas.

Jan concluded: “Domestic abuse is hard to live with at any time, but so much more so at Christmas time when families have such high expectations.  But there is life after domestic abuse, and we can help you and your children to reach safety.”

The 24 hour helpline numbers are:

0800 783 1359 (Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin)

0800 980 3331 (Worcestershire)

For further information call West Mercia Women’s Aid on 01432 356146.