It’s Christmas and we are launching our Christmas Appeal and asking you to help the women and children whose lives are devastated by domestic & sexual violence in Northern Ireland.

Last year 47,597 calls were managed by our 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline. The highest recorded numbers were, as always, over the Christmas period.

Luckily we have a team of highly trained, experienced staff and volunteers who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to offer support, advice and practical information to women seeking to escape a life of beatings, rape, financial control, isolation and emotional abuse in their own home. Some of these women and children will go to emergency accommodation in one of our Refuges in Northern Ireland.

Christmas is a time of joy, of families coming together, of love and laughter. It should not be a time of fear or pain. It is tragic to think of a woman and her children enduring a Christmas day of silence, violent outbursts and beatings, removed from contact with other family members. Many women and children endure this terrible situation because they feel there is no other option.

Women’s Aid is here to ensure women know there are options, including the safe haven of our refuges. Last year 880 women and 546 children stayed in our Women’s Aid refuges and a further 3,659 women and 4,469 children were supported through our Floating Support services. We were able to support all of the women and children as they started on their journey to change their lives.

You can help ensure that we will be there for any woman in crisis when she calls by giving generously. If you wish to leave gifts for the children in the refuges, any of our locations throughout Northern Ireland will be happy to receive them.

As always, any funds you can send us will be greatly appreciated.

To donate just follow the link and choose the option that’s right for you: https://www.womensaidni.org/support-us/

We thank you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.