Holidays blamed for increased domestic violence
Its tradition for many families to spend the holidays together, but in homes where there's domestic abuse it means more opportunities for violence.
The holiday season is one of the busiest for local law enforcement. There are generally more calls about burglaries, thefts, and also an uptick in the number of domestic violence reports.
Latimer House says the proof is in the numbers.
Karla Kitzman, with Latimer House, says, "We’re usually packed in the shelter."
Gathering families, tight budgets, and drinking are just some of the things that come to mind when you think about the holidays. But those are also some of the reasons Latimer House says domestic violence spikes this time of year. That means more people at its door, asking for help.
"They can't hold the family secret together anymore. They can't pretend anymore,” Kitzman said. “Then things blow up and we see people come through our doors."
Even when it feels like family is falling apart, Latimer House says people are still striving to have a traditional Christmas.
Surprisingly, it says the holidays often make it easier for victims to address problems with domestic violence.
"People come through the door and say, hey I’m really struggling and I need help with Christmas,” Kitzman explained.
That’s exactly what Latimer House does. It helps those who have children wishing for presents and mouths to feed.
“You get to engage in a conversation about how can we help meet your needs right now, for Christmas,” Kitzman said. “In that they start to go, oh you do understand what I’m going through. We start to hear the story of what they've been struggling with year round. We start to go, how can we support you in a bigger picture as well."
The police department isn’t able to provide exact domestic violence numbers.
That type of crime usually falls under assault or harassment.
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