The sad reality in our society, today is that many women and children will not spend Christmas 2016 in their own homes.
Instead they will spend Christmas at a Women’s Aid refuge shelter as a result of domestic violence perpetrated against them.
Last Christmas, in Belfast and Lisburn 65 women and 41 children woke up that morning away from everything familiar to them as they were forced to make the best of a bad situation, following a traumatising and frightening event.
The generosity of local businesses like Beauty and Brows at Bachelor’s Walk allows everyone to bring a bit of festive cheer into what can be a very daunting time for many local families.
By holding a Christmas appeal on Women’s Aid’s behalf, Natalie Thompson of Beauty and Brows and her team will help ensure that every women, young person and child coming into refuge will receive a gift on Christmas morning.
They are also hoping that Santa will not forget to pay a visit to all the boys and girls living in the local refuge in Lisburn.
Domestic abuse is a major issue in Northern Ireland accounting for over 13% of overall crimes.
Women’s Aid is a charity that will help support victims of domestic abuse.
You can help the charity by purchasing an item or two from the list and drop them into 63 Bacelor’s Walk to help the Women’s Aid shelter. Among some of the items they desperately need are shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, facecloth, toohpaste, soap, deodorant, pants, socks or pyjamas.
They are the items that the shelter and Women’s Aid refuge desperately need, a supply of toiletires that they can hand to women on their arrival.
If asked what would you bring with you if you had to leave your house in a hurry probably never to return, for most people the phone would be the main priority. A toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant would not even cross their mind.
For many abused women who have had to flee their house and seek safety in a refuge the things they miss most are the basic items that many of us take for granted.
Domestic abuse is a big issue in Northern Ireland. According to police statistics there are 13,420 domestic abuse crimes in Northern Ireland reported in 2014/15...that is an incident every 19 minutes. During that time there were two and a half more domestic abuse crimes than there were drugs offences.
This year, as we all look forward to celebrate Christmas why not think of the women and children in the local community who have suffered at the hands of a loved one, and who cannot spend Christmas in their own home area.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and would like to talk to someone or find out what support is available ring the 24 hour Domestic and Sexual Voilence Helpline on 0808-8021414.