Merseyside Police is urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence over the coming weeks.
Despite the festive period typically considered a time of happiness and celebration, for many families across Merseyside, this will not be the case.
Together with partners, police are reminding friends, family members and the wider community of the importance of recognising the signs that someone may be suffering.
Domestic abuse comes in many different forms and does not always mean physical violence, it can also be emotional, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.
It can also include coercive and controlling behaviour and affects the lives of many people from all different backgrounds regardless of gender, age, race, or religion.
Merseyside Police has dedicated, specially trained officers to support victims and those officers, together with partners, will be working throughout Christmas and New Year, to help people experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Turner from the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said: “We know this time of year can be particularly difficult for victims of domestic abuse and although making those first steps and reporting abuse can be daunting, there is support available, not just from Merseyside Police but partners too.
“Domestic abuse in any form is unacceptable and something no-one should have to tolerate. I want to encourage not only victims, but friends, family members and the wider community to come forward and report it if they suspect someone is suffering.
“There is a range of help available from specially trained officers in the forces Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, to IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advisors) and numerous charities and organisations across Merseyside. If you can find the courage to come forward and report it, there are people ready to support you and treat you with compassion, respect and care.
"No one should be suffering in silence this Christmas - if you need help, or know someone that does, please reach out."
To report domestic abuse you can contact @MerPolCC, 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always call 999.
Information and a list of numbers is also available on the Merseyside Police website in the Support and Advice section here : https://www.merseyside.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/support-helplines