A HARD-hitting campaign has been launched to help victims of domestic abuse find help over the festive season.

The initiative by the Hambleton and Richmondshire Community Safety Partnership has seen posters bearing the words “Too much, too little, too late” distributed across the two districts.

And with families facing ever-increasing difficulties because of money – and the inability to leave a violent relationship because of finance - the emphasis is on providing support to those people.

Abusive relationships are generally understood to be those where there is physical or sexual abuse or emotional and verbal abuse.

Across the UK around two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners, and one in four women and one in six men in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

However partnership officers point out that restricting - or preventing - the victim from accessing finances is another means to exert control.

The partnership is now working with the Citizens Advice Bureau and IDAS - Independent Domestic Abuse Services) - to help local people access help.

Local Citizen’s Advice Bureau debt and benefit caseworker Beth Dowson said: “With Christmas fast approaching - and with many people already struggling financially - tension is already building.

“There is an increasing demand on our income which can lead to debt and the stress from that puts pressure on the family – and can result in relationship problems.

“But no one should have to suffer alone - there is help and support out there.”

And IDAS director Sarah Hill added: “Christmas is meant to be a happy time for families, but for many living in our districts it will be a time of fear and misery.

“I would urge anyone who is living with abuse to get the help they need and deserve.”

For support, emergency accommodation, help and advice call IDAS on 0300-0110-110.

Anyone wishing to display posters should contact Rebecca.Cobby@Richmondshire.gcsx.gov.uk for copies.