On The Twelfth Day of Christmas My Wish Came True

On the twelfth day of Christmas, we wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and a New Year full of hope

Here at McAuley Community Services for Women, we know that the festive season is often a time of mixed emotions, of happiness mingled with anxiety and distress as women and children struggle with memories and hopes for a violence-free future.

While our safe house may be quieter on Christmas Day, we brace ourselves for the days after when things have gone wrong at home and women and their children seek refuge. For these women, the mix of spending more time with the family has led to more intense manipulation, control, abuse and violence.

Last year, we saw incidents of family violence spike dramatically over Christmas, building on 2013 figures where Victoria Police had 172 reports of “people being victimised by loved ones” on Christmas Day.

For those of you who are reading this and who are experiencing family violence in its many shapes, please seek assistance before matters escalate.

At McAuley Community Services for Women, we have over the past few weeks held a carol service and parties, and are now preparing to hand out presents which have been donated by you, our supporters. We know that some women will cry when they are given their gifts. Others will nod, speechless that someone cares. Tomorrow at McAuley House, volunteers will come and help our staff

As we prepare, I thank you all for your generosity this year, not only in financial donations, but your time, advice, support and guidance.

We wish you all a happy Christmas and festive season.

Jocelyn Bignold

CEO, McAuley Community Services for Women