Charities and organisations who offer support to those experiencing domestic abuse are urging women in danger to seek help during the festive break.

The Women's Refuge and Support Service in Meath is open all year around, offering help to women and children in crisis.

"We provide emergency accommodation for women and children and we also provide an outreach service here. We have a dedicated children's team," explained Katie Carry, Child Development Support Worker.

Last year the service assisted 477 women and 100 children. Those working there say Christmas and New Year can be a difficult time of year and many children are impacted.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

"They are not secondary victims, they are not simply bystanders," said Siobhan Nelligan, Children's Resource Worker and Music therapist.

"In some cases they are experiencing [abuse] directly but they are all experiencing the atmosphere in the home, they’re witnessing their mother’s fear and abuse and that’s a very serious abuse for a child."

The refuge is urging people suffering domestic violence to seek help.

"Often times women make the hard decision to stay in the home to protect the Christmas experience for their children but we’re here to help if they need it," said Katie Carry.

"If you feel unsafe or that your children are unsafe, please call us and we’re also here to listen if you just want to chat."

In Ireland there are nine counties without a women's refuge. There are no refuges for men in the state. However, if people need support, Meath refuge said that help is out there.

"Women’s Aid can direct you to your local service if you are not in this area," said Katie.