Holidays see violence spike
WHILE Christmas is meant to be a time for relaxing and celebrating with family and friends, many face the season with dread and apprehension.
Domestic violence is often an unspoken demon in the community, which rears its ugly head more than ever at this time of the year.
The Warwick Safe Haven works tirelessly to support women and children who endure a violent home life, by offering short-term respite, free of fear.
The organisation has just received a welcome boost at one of its busiest times of year, with a donation from the Warwick Rotary Sunrise group.
The group has donated $500 to Safe Haven and Sunrise Rotary member Ben Reynolds said the group was happy to throw its support behind something so important.
"Our commitment to the domestic violence shelter is rock-solid," he said.
"Domestic violence is everyone's business as it can happen anywhere, anytime and we need to have a safe place for anyone suffering from domestic violence."
Warwick Safe Haven representative Bette Bonney said the organisation relied on community donations and the money would go towards paying the lease.
"It is great that groups like Rotary Sunrise support us and help keep the doors open," Mrs Bonney said.
It was her experience that domestic violence tended to spike during the festive season and she said it was likely due to a combination of alcohol and financial stress.
"It is hard to say how much of an increase there is over Christmas but DV Connect expect it to be busy," she said.
"People don't understand the severity of it and we want to encourage people to come forward if they need help.
"Many people wouldn't have a clue domestic violence happens in Warwick and the other thing is, a lot of women don't report it for various reasons."
Mrs Bonney said Safe Haven was a way women could access the help they need without being pressured to leave their partners.
Ask for help
DV Connect women's helpline: 1800811811
DV Connect men's helpline: 1800600636