‘You know I love you. You know I don’t mean it. It won’t happen again I promise.’
These words are often uttered by victims seeking help from the support workers at the Boston and South Holland Domestic Abuse Service.
The service is a partnership between Boston Mayflower and the charity Boston Women’s Aid and helps men and women in South Holland who are experiencing domestic abuse.
Last month they dealt with 45 outreach cases and 16 others were brought to their attention at drop-in sessions.
Christmas is an especially busy time.
Lynn Mitchell, Boston Aid manager, said: “It’s a very emotive time of year with family and financial pressures.
“We are very busy already but there is quite often a rise in referrals in the New Year and it can be quite traumatic if children are brought to one of our two safe houses and have to leave their toys.”
Isolation is a huge problem for victims in South Holland.
Lynn said: “In rural areas if your partner takes your car keys, laptop and mobile you are stuck.
“No victim should feel alone and it is never too late. Two women aged 80 and 82 came to us because they wanted to spend their last years in peace. They were truly inspirational women.
“We want to raise awareness of the options available. Not everyone wants to go to a refuge.”
As well as refuge accommodation, there is an outreach service and morning drop-in sessions are held at two venues in the area – on Tuesdays at the South Holland District Council offices in Spalding and on Thursdays at Coubro Chambers in West End, Holbeach.
A Freedom Programme is being launched in the New Year to prevent repeat victims and help warning signals being spotted in future relationships. Anti-bullying work is also being done with young children in schools.
Telephone support is available on Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm by calling 01205 318600.