Upstate seeing increase of domestic violence during holidays, officials say

Local News

CHEROKEE CO., (WSPA) – The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but law enforcement officials say for some homes, there’s an increase in domestic violence.

Officials with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office say during this time of year, there’s a 10-15% increase in domestic violence cases.

“People are stressed about their finances, having people over, there’s just a lot more stress added to them. So, they take it out on each other,” said Brandi Douglas, a victim advocate with the sheriff’s office.

Douglas said this increase is something they prepare for.

“So, we have officers on standby, I’m on standby for Cherokee County, as far as the victim’s advocate,” said Douglas.

She says throughout the state, 2.7 times more domestic violence happens this time of year.

“Even though it’s the holiday season, do not feel hesitant to call and get help. There are places that can still help you have a Merry Christmas, or going into the New Year with a brand-new start,” she said.

A program she recommends for victims is SAFE Homes – Rape Crisis Coalition.

Jada Charley, the president and CEO, said that, right now, the calls keep coming in.

“We are, we’re seeing an increase in calls to our crisis line and the numbers of victims requesting assistance,” said Charley.

Compared to the holiday season last year, Charley said their services are more needed.

“From where we were this point last year, we have seen a large increase in people both requesting shelter and protection orders,” said Charley.

Some resources SAFE Homes offers are: a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, assistance with getting protection orders, medical assistance and therapy services.

Charley said they just started a new program for victims, and their vulnerable family members, this year called: Transitional Housing Program.

“We assist them with paying rent, utilities, and we provide them with budget counseling, therapy services, and all of those things,” she said.

Charley said they also have a new partnership with Ring, to give survivors a Ring doorbell and camera, if needed, for safety. She said it’s important to remember, this type of violence doesn’t only exist this time of year.

“Domestic violence is something that might peak during the holidays, but it doesn’t just happen during the holidays, and it’s not just physical abuse,” said Charley.

She said regardless of the type of abuse you might be facing, there are people ready to help.

The main message these advocates say is that domestic violence victims are not alone. The number one step is to call law enforcement or the crisis line if you need help.

Resources to help:

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

High School Standouts
Ask the Expert
First Responder Friday
Find A Job
wspa news app free for download choose your store below
download the wspa news app from the apple app store
download the wspa news app from the google play store