A Merry Christmas for most: but a horror story for some who will suffer in silence

By Leo Olivero

I think it’s fitting that I sign off my more serious contributions in Panorama this year on a more sombre note regarding an important current social problem ‘Domestic Violence’ which at last is receiving the attention, public awareness and strategic planning it justly deserves. 

Domestic Violence - And The Common Denominator

Panorama for numerous years has drawn attention to evils surrounding the many serious social combinations that Domestic Violence (DV) brings on society.

Only last month this newspaper highlighted how in the vast majority of DV cases ‘Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Illegal Drugs’ were the main contributing factors in this type of abuse.

A few weeks earlier in October I also penned another DV related article describing that without question, one of worst social tragedies that can befall a family was domestic violence.

In the latter article, Panorama exclusively revealed it was estimated that DV cases in Gibraltar ran at a rate of over one case per day. Up until September there were 400 reported cases. The Official Government statistics webpage has not been updated since then.

However, we are aware that the Month of October where there are no official figures, was a particularly busy month for DV cases, this disturbing trend has continued and will probable increase even further during the Christmas period as you read in this report.

These figures only represent reported cases; many DV victims suffer these abuse horrors in silence. Particularly during this time of the (festive) year, where sprits are not only consumed to induce merriment and joyfulness. Sprits, Alcohol and Drugs also Trigger aggression and violence on DV victims and families, kids, often suffer most mentally.

Christmas Sprit Or A Festive Horror Story For Some

Everywhere you look now there’s touches of red and green, tinsel and decorations. It’s that time of the year when we get caught up in the seasonal spirit. Our houses try their utmost to be warmer and cosier and, in an attempt to ward off the cold, we want to huddle and invite each other to homemade parties. The tipple is a bit more generous, the rosy cheeks rosier and there’s laughter and giggling and a tad more jolliness all around.

But Christmas often brings with it financial pressures and that, in combination with free-flowing alcohol and drug abuse can be a horror story for some, without doubt.