Charity warns over 'profound impact' of domestic violence on children
Children are at the centre of a campaign to raise awareness of what a charity says are the forgotten victims of domestic violence.
A short film released by Refuge highlights the fact that 750,000 youngsters witness domestic violence each year - an experience which the charity says can have a "profound and lasting impact".
The campaign, launched with Facebook, encourages people to raise funds and awareness by using the hashtag #givethemrefuge.
The video shows a fictional scene in which a young girl is opening presents under the Christmas tree while being filmed by her sister, but they abandon the presents when a violent argument unfolds between their parents.
Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley said: "Women and children experience domestic violence all year round - and for many December 25 will be like any other day, filled with fear and uncertainty.
"Refuge supports over 3,300 women and children every day - women and children just like those in the video."
She added: "On any given day two-thirds of our residents are children. For those who escape and come to one of our refuges we offer so much more than a roof over a woman and her children's head; we offer vital support that gives women and children the building blocks to start a new life.
"Yet the places of safety we run are under threat. Refuge is fighting to raise funds to keep its services running.
"Which is why Refuge is enormously grateful to Facebook for backing this campaign - with the financial climate look set to get worse we need support more than ever.
"Please share #givethemrefuge and donate to save our services. Today's children are tomorrow's future - they need and deserve this life-changing and life-saving support more than you could ever imagine."