Calls to Berkshire Abuse Charity Rising

A charity that helps victims of domestic violence has told Heart they're getting ready for a rise in calls to their helpline.

Berkshire Women's Aid say they had 755 calls over last year's festive season - with more than 420 of those in January.

From the beginning of this year until November 30th there have been 4,590 calls.

They have told Heart they always see a spike at this time of year because families spend more time together, higher expectations of Christmas, alcohol and the increase in financial stress.

The charity covers Bracknell, Reading and Wokingham, with their advice centre, Crossing Bridges, located in Reading.

The centre is a partnership with Berkshire Women's Aid, Reading Borough Council and Thames Valley Police and people can get legal, health and benefits advice as well as police support.

Bernadette Adams is from the charity and says the violence can affect the whole family:

"The impact on children is absolutely devastating. Many children in the Berkshire area are living with domestic abuse at the moment and coping with that and trying to cope with their schoolwork and all the pressures of growing up."

Latest yearly figures show there were 11,173 recorded cases of domestic abuse in the Thames Valley - that's from April 2010 to March 2011.

Crossing Bridges can be contacted on 0118 959 7333

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