A Tayside woman has launched a donations appeal to make Christmas boxes for domestic abuse victims over the festive period.
Amy Cruickshank, a Dundee custody officer, said police see a spike in domestic incidents every Christmas, leading to many women and children fleeing their abusers with few possessions of their own.
The 26-year-old is collecting donations of clothes, toiletries, food and toys, which she will deliver, boxed, as presents to Women’s Aid in Dundee.
Amy said: “Over the past few years I’ve tried to do something for charity at Christmas and I thought this year I’d pick Women’s Aid.
“A lot of the women who end up here with their children often have nothing apart from the clothes on their back.
“Last year Women’s Aid struggled to make ends meet with supplying essentials at this time of year.
“In my work I see how the charity helps women and I also see how much domestic violence rises around Christmas.
“There is a lot of pressure on couples at this time of year and also people drink a lot of alcohol, which can exacerbate things.”
Amy said she has already had a positive response to her appeal, which she has launched on her Facebook page.
A family friend has donated 15 boxes of goods and she is also due to collect more donations from other well-wishers.
Amy added: “I’m really pleased with the response so far.
“I will deliver all the boxes to Women’s Aid in the second week of December.
“I think it will really make a difference – I want these women and children to know they haven’t been forgotten about over Christmas, at a time when they’re really vulnerable.”
Mary Miller, chief executive of Women’s Aid Dundee, said the charity was expecting an influx of domestic abuse victims seeking help this Christmas due to the recent introduction of new laws.
“The new legislation classes coercive control as a crime, which is a course of conduct as opposed to an isolated incident,” she said.
“Women now feel more confident reporting abusive behaviour so there will possibly be a spike again this Christmas, or straight after Christmas.
“A lot of women stay in abusive relationships over the festive period for the sake of the children.
“When they do leave they often have just whatever they can carry with them, so last year our supplies were depleted and we had an appeal for donations.”