SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Starting the new year, local domestic violence advocates said they see an increase in people needing help.
The Victim Center Executive Director, Brandi Bartel, said the holidays could have been a hard time for those struggling with domestic violence.
“Typically every year at the first part of January, right after the holiday season, The Victim Center sees an uptick in the number of calls to our hotline,” Bartel said.
She said sometimes people now feel in the new year that they are in a place to work on healing.
Bartel said holidays can add a lot of stressors, but now survivors may have a safer opportunity to reach out for help.
“Holidays should be a time of celebration and being thankful for all of our blessings and connecting with those that we love, but for survivors in a domestic violence relationship, often those dynamics don’t exist,” Bartel said. “There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of isolation, or a lot of added violence in the home.”
The holidays, she said, could also bring up memories from the past for survivors.
“They didn’t have positive experiences over the holidays, that was not a positive time for them,” Bartel said. “To go through that process alone, or now maybe they’re married and have children of their own, and it’s starting to bring up experiences from their past that they just hadn’t realized were painful.”
Bartel said if you see someone isolating themselves more than usual this year, there are steps to take.
She said try to open that chain of communication and ask if there is anything you can do to help.
Then, you can ask if there is a safe place and time they can speak with you.
She said it’s important to let them decide on what time is best for them.
To learn about resources from The Victim Center, click here.https://www.thevictimcenter.org