Domestic Abuse During the Festive Season
For many Christmas is a time of festive cheer, socialisation and family time. Yet for others it is the most feared time of the year. Domestic abuse is known to rise significantly during the festive period.
Of all crimes recorded by the police in the year ending March 2021, 18% were domestic abuse-related, but in December 2020 that year the figure was 19.3% The trend was similar in previous years, with 16.4 % of all crimes in December 2019 being domestic abuse-related, when the year average was 15 %. The number of police reported domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales rose 6 % in 2020/21, with calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England also up by 22 %.
The Added Risk Factors
There are many possible reasons why domestic abuse increases at Christmas, but it is important to remember they are never the cause of the abuse but a complicating factor with the relationship dynamics or a possible excuse for the perpetrators behaviour. These may include but not limited to:
• Jealously and possessiveness in seeing loved ones and friends causing isolation from the victims.
• Financial abuse and pressure on how much is spent during the festive period.
• Increased use of alcohol and substances over the festive period.
• Perpetrators are more likely to be at home.
• Increased pressure to engage in behaviours and events the victim is not openly willing too for example sexual activities, attending parties etc.
• Visiting the perpetrators family who could also be perpetrating domestic abuse towards the victim too.
Supporting Victims In Havering
During the festive period, Havering council services will remain open to victims of domestic abuse. There will be access to emergency housing using the out of hours service. Havering local services such as Havering Women’s Aid, MENDAS and the Havering IDVA team will be being running business as usual. This means they are closed on bank holidays and weekends only.
The national domestic abuse helpline is open 24/7 for women to access domestic abuse support and refuge.
The MARAC will be accepting the referrals as usual. The last meeting held will be on 22nd December 2021 and the first meeting of the New Year will be on 5th January 2022.
Households across the country will be able to access a new £500m support fund to help them with essentials over the coming months as the country continues its recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic. The new Household Support Fund will support millions of households in England and will be distributed by councils in England, who know their local areas best and can directly help those who need it most, including for example, through small grants to meet daily needs such as food, clothing, and utilities.
The fund was made available to Local Authorities in October 2021. Please check on the Havering Council`s website for regular updates regarding the fund here
Winter Fuel Payment 2021
Older people can receive between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay their heating bills if they were born on or before 5 October 1954.
Most payments are made automatically between November and December.
A Winter Fuel Payment is paid automatically if a person receives State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
A person qualifies for a Winter Fuel Payment if both the following apply:
• born on or before 5 October 1954
• living in the UK for at least one day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
If a person qualifies for Winter Fuel Payment, but does not receive it automatically, they will need to make a claim.
They will get a letter stating how much and an estimated payment date.
If payment is not received by 14 January 2022, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre on 0800 731 0160.
Please take a look at the attached PowerPoint showing Havering’s vision for digital inclusion
The Home Office has published its 2021 annual report on modern slavery, providing a summary of key developments across the UK in modern slavery in the period from October 2020 to September 2021. The report focuses on work under the five areas of: law enforcement and operational response, prevention, transparency in supply chains, victim support and identification and international engagement and upstream prevention.
Read the report: 2021 UK annual report on modern slavery
We hope to appoint a new Partnerships and Learning Manager in the next few months.
On behalf of the whole SAB team, old and new, thank you for your support throughout 2021. We wish you all a healthy happy festive season and new year.