Hertfordshire domestic violence helpline to be manned over Christmas

DOMESTIC violence doesn’t stop over Christmas – so neither will the hotline that provides support to victims.

That’s the message this week from volunteers who man the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Hotline, which provides confidential advice to anyone affected.

The freephone number – 08 088 088 088 – is usually operational between 10am and 10pm Monday to Friday.

And it will also be manned between those hours over the Christmas weekend and the three bank holidays, December 27, 28 and New Year’s Day.

A support website, www.hertssunflower.org will also be available 24 hours a day.

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County councillor Keith Emsall, executive member for community safety, said: “As well as being a time for celebration, the Christmas and new year period can heighten the risk of domestic abuse.

“With high expectations of the festivities, increased alcohol consumption, more time with family and additional financial pressures, relationships can be even more strained.

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“Not only can the helpline assist those suffering at the hands of someone they know, but can also support people who fear they may hurt their loved ones and advise them where to access help to stop their abusive behaviour.”

Cllr Emsall added: “The commitment of the helpline volunteers, who give up their own time to help those at a vitally important time, will ensure that any victims this Christmas need not suffer in silence.”

To protect the safety and anonymity of callers, the helpline is not identified on landline telephone bills.

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