A CHARITY supporting domestic abuse victims is today encouraging women not to suffer in silence over the Christmas period.

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Sally Winston, chief executive of Lighthouse Women’s Aid, based in Museum Street, said there tends to be more people who contact them after the festive season but added that support is waiting for them when they are ready.

She said: “Quite often we get contacted after Christmas. Women tend to hold out over Christmas for the sake of the children.

“It is really difficult for any woman to seek support in the first place but if they feel they can and are ready to, we have a whole range of services to support them through that.

“We are trying to encourage women to come forward and give them the type of support they need.

“There is definitely hope. Sometimes we find they are not ready and go back to their perpetrator but we are always here to support them and give them a better life.”

The Lighthouse Women’s Aid is encouraging people to donate gifts for women and youngsters up to 16.

Jo Cresdee, PR and publicity manager for the charity, said: “We are appealing for any presents. They must be unwrapped. It is nice for the children to get these presents, but the mums also really appreciate it as it is about recognising their self-worth.”

To donate a gift for Christmas, deliver it to Blocks Solicitors, 2 Arcade Street, Ipswich, or e-mail Lighthouse Women’s Aid, Westgate House, Museum Street, Ipswich, IP1 1HQ.

n If you need help, call the 24-hour helpline 01473 745111.

n Are you a victim of abuse and want to tell us your story? E-mail starnews@archant.co.uk

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