CHRISTMAS is a special time for families to enjoy the festive season together, however it can also be a time of tension and strain.

Historically, incidents of domestic abuse rise over Christmas due to family and financial pressures, while increased alcohol consumption puts additional stress on relationships and heightens the risk of violence.

Domestic abuse can be defined as controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

Supt Gareth Evans urged victims to report any domestic abuse they experience, however difficult it might be over the festive period.

“Unfortunately there is often a rise in reports of domestic abuse around this time of year,” he said. “It cuts across social, cultural and religious boundaries and has far reaching consequences for victims and their families.

“We have dedicated domestic abuse officers and public protection officers across North Wales who will ensure that incidents are investigated. With our partner agencies we can also find appropriate support and intervention for victims and their families.”

If you suffer from or witness domestic abuse call 101, or dial 999 if you are in immediate danger.

“The safety of you and your children will be our priority,” said Mr Evans.