VICTIMS of domestic violence are being urged not to suffer in silence.

The number of reported incidents of domestic violence tends to rise over Christmas with increased levels of stress, alcohol and debt often contributing factors.

For people experiencing domestic violence over Christmas or at any other time of the year there are a number of services to access offering support, advice and action.

Lewisham Council’s cabinet champion for community safety, Councillor Crada Onuegbu, said: “Whilst the Christmas period will be a joyful one for most people, some people will face physical, mental or even financial abuse at the hands of their partner or a family member.

“My personal message to victims of domestic abuse is have confidence, come forward and speak out. There are many organisations which can help support you.”

Detective Sergeant Richard Budd, from community safety, said: "Support is there for victims of domestic violence during Christmas and we would urge anyone experiencing this to report it and we will investigate.

“However, working to reduce domestic violence is a priority for Lewisham Police all year round and we will continue to work with the Council and other local partners to bring offenders to justice."

Call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.

For information about a domestic violence intervention programme for men, visit