Christmas can be a stressful time for any family. There’s more of everything.
More food, more spend, more family and more alcohol consumption.
For an unfortunate amount of families, Christmas is also characterised by more incidences of family violence.
During the Christmas-New Year period of 2020, the Western Australia police force reported a daily average of 141 family violence related incidents, up 24% on the daily average of any other time during the normal calendar year.
The sector recognises December and January are extremely difficult times for many women facing domestic abuse, and their services are available during these times. Here is a list of what support is available over christmas, and how you, or a friend can access them:
This is a 24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault. If you need someone to speak to, and discuss your options, call 1800 737 732
Zonta house offers a specialist service to women who have, or are at risk of experiencing family and domestic violence. Access emergency accommodation, and educational training by calling their crisis centre on 1800 870 149.
Legal Aid WA promotes access to legal services by providing free legal advice and assistance regarding family violence including restraining orders and safety issues. Call 1300 650 579.
Local Salvation Army centres provide free Christmas food hampers, toys and gifts for families in need. Take advantage of this support by visiting their Food hamper and gift assistance page, and contacting your local Salvos.
In addition to their food and gift assistance, the Salvation Army also hosts Christmas Day meals, which are usually free and available to anyone in need, including children. Visit the Christmas meals page site to see your closest salvos.
Mission Australia also provides a Christmas lunch meal to people experiencing homelessness, disadvantage or marginalisation. The event is available through wristband access, which can be collected by community support agencies.
If you require translating and interpreting to access any of these services, TIS can connect you with the service and interpret for you. Call 13 14 50.