Secret Santa re-launch sees Christmas cheer for abuse victims

By Matthew Bates Wednesday 07 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 09:33

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Buy photos » Tracy Harker (centre), manager of the Cathedral Lanes Shopping Centre, welcomes Coventry Haven representatives Eileen Thornton (r) and Sam Stapleton (l) to the centre for another year to help launch their Secret Santa appeal. Picture by Jon Mullis 44.012.028.cov.jm2 (www.buyphotos247.com)

A SECRET Santa has re-launched in a bid to give domestic abuse victims some Christmas cheer.

Friends of Coventry Haven, a domestic abuse charity, run the campaign each year in a bid to donate gifts to mothers and young children who spend the festive season in a refuge away from domestic abuse.

A shop in Cathedral Lanes is devoted to the Secret Santa, with shoppers invited to drop off gifts which will be given away.

Popular presents include make-up, pjs, slippers and pampering products - but organisers close to the charity are also hopeful of gifts more suited to teens as well as younger children.

They are asking shoppers to buy an extra gift for a boy or girl up to 16-years-old - or for a mum.

Sam Stapleton said: "Statistics show this silent crime affects one in four women, who on average are abused 35 times before seeking help, while 40 per cent of children will witness abuse in their home.

"These are horrific statistics and are only a few to give an example of how widespread yet unacknowledged this silent crime is.

"This is why Friends of Coventry Haven are trying to raise a smile on the faces of those who sometimes just flee for safety with the clothes on their backs."

Coventry Haven offer support and advice to women who are experiencing domestic violence. If you can help in anyway, please contact Sam on 07530795343.

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