Christmas is traditionally a joyful time when families come together to celebrate, but for victims of domestic abuse it can be the worst time of the year.
Fortunately there are organisations like the Southern Domestic Abuse Service to pick up the pieces when families are torn apart.
The charity provides refuge accommodation and outreach services for women, children and men who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.
And they have launched an appeal for gifts for those who would otherwise receive nothing this Christmas.
Claire Chatwin, the charity’s chief executive, said: ‘Domestic abuse can affect people of any age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography, every day of the year.
‘Domestic abuse does not take time off at Christmas and for thousands of families who are living in the grip of violence it is a day like any other.
‘Any help in the form of gifts, vouchers and financial donations is greatly appreciated.’
Slimming World groups across the area and Portsmouth and Gosport Fibromyalgia Group have started off the campaign by donating gifts and selection boxes for the families in refuges and the wider community.
Claire added: ‘It is often not only adults who suffer because of violent partners during this time.
‘For children living in a home where there is violence, Christmas is not a time of celebration, but one of terror, as the family is together for an extended period of time.
‘Most children living in violent households witness the violence that is occurring and, in 90 per cent of cases, they are in the same or the next room.
‘In about half of all domestic violence situations, the children are also being directly abused themselves.’
Because of the confidential nature of the charity, please e-mail or call ahead to donate a gift in person to the charity’s office.
Alternatively, if you would like to make a cash donation to Southern Domestic Abuse Service, please text sdas12 £2/£5/£10 to 70070.
A gift will be bought on your behalf by the charity.
If you would like to know more about the work of Southern Domestic Abuse contact them at southerndas.org, call (023) 9248 0246 or 01420 590109 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow SDAS on Twitter at @Southerndas or on facebook.com/Southerndas.