A NEW poster aims to bring home the message that domestic violence can make it hell for some people at Christmas.

Gwent Police are supporting the Women's Aid poster which has been endorsed by the Police Federation and the Conservative Party.

The poster contains the slogan - 'Another Boxing Day' - and says that Christmas comes but once a year.

However, in the United Kingdom the police receive a call every minute of every day about domestic violence.

Gwent Police say the problem of domestic abuse in the force area escalates over the festive period.

In 2001-02 they were called to 4,094 domestic incidents out of which over 2,000 resulted in prosecution.

Detective Inspector Martin Dew, of the Family Support Unit, says he has no doubt that the extent of domestic abuse is far larger than dealt with by police.

DI Maw believes that an assault in the home can be worse than in the street as the victim cannot escape the violence.

He added that research shows on average a victim - usually a woman - suffers 35 attacks before reporting it to the police and believes that part of the reason for this is because people don't want to get involved in the situation.

He added: "Neighbours don't want to get involved. "They think these things are behind close doors but when people are being attacked in the home they can hear the noise and the upset of the children but people are still loathe to get involved.

"If they saw somebody in the street being assaulted people would very quickly call for help, but that doesn't happen with domestic abuse. A number of the murders and manslaughters in our area are the result of domestic abuse."

The poster will be displayed in police stations throughout Gwent. Anyone suffering from domestic abuse can call Women's Aid 24 hour helpline on 0845 702 3468 or the NSPCC National Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000.