How cutting down on Christmas cards could help save lives


Simpson Millar has teamed up with a leading charity to raise awareness of domestic violence during the festive season.

We are helping to raise the profile of Refuge, a charity which provides life-saving resources and gives abused women and children a voice.

Latest figures have revealed that at least 1 in 4 women are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during their lifetimes. Some 50% of all murdered women are killed by their current or former husbands or partners. Men are affected too; 1 in 10 men will be subject to domestic abuse and violence.

The problem becomes still more acute at Christmas. Fuelled by alcohol and with more leisure time to hand than usual for thousands of families, the festive season is often marked by a significant increase in cases of domestic violence.

With these worrying facts in mind, we have joined Refuge's Christmas campaign to help give victims a happier holiday season than they could otherwise expect. At the same time we hope to raise public awareness of the dangers and warning signs of domestic violence.

To help Refuge support women and children forced into refuges this year, modestly-priced presents for the victims are available from a special John Lewis Christmas Gift list.

You can access the list at (gift-list number 522953) until 6 December.

Alternatively, you can make general donations at any time before or after this date. Our Family Department works closely with a number of leading domestic violence charities and a small financial contribution – or even a little of your time – would be hugely valuable and more than welcome.

It's worth considering that for just £5 – less than you might normally spend on Christmas cards – you can really help make a difference for so many abused adults and children this year. You could even help to save a life.

Emma Hopkins, Family law solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP said: "Domestic violence is a cause that is very close to all our hearts at Simpson Millar and as such we have asked our employees this year to consider not sending Christmas cards and instead to make a donation to the charity as we know from our clients just how vital the service that the charity can provide is to people."

To donate or find out more visit: Or if you need to speak to someone confidentially about domestic violence please call the Refuge 24 hr Freephone helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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