TACKLING domestic abuse is a top priority for a borough council in the run-up to Christmas.

Copeland Borough Council is joining businesses in taking a proactive approach against abuse.

The national, 16 days of Action Against Domestic Violence campaign, supported by Public Health England, is aimed at supporting businesses to take action against domestic abuse.

The campaign runs until December 10 and organisations pick a theme each day to explore the various forms of domestic violence, raising awareness.

In 2018, Copeland appointed a Prevention and Crisis Support Officer to work with those suffering from domestic abuse or sexual exploitation. The service has supported 312 men, women and children to leave abusive homes since it began.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We’re joining organisations across the nation to tackle domestic abuse.

“We have helped hundreds of residents break free from abusive homes since we introduced the service, which brings home the fact that the support is so vitally needed in our community.

“We hope by highlighting the different issues surrounding abuse, we can help people recognise the signs and break the cycle.

“This year has been extraordinarily tough on everyone, and we know that we already see an increase in domestic incidents during festive periods, and we’re concerned that this may lead some to reach breaking point. Our residents need to know that help is out there!

“So, I plead with anyone suffering from abuse to come forward – for a safe place to stay and the chance of a different future.”