LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The turn of the new year is an exciting time, but for those experiencing domestic violence, this time of year can be a dangerous one.
Rituals connected to New Year celebrations, such as the increased consumption of alcohol, can cause more acts of domestic violence.
She says this year may be particularly bad.cases this time of year,” said Kathy Williams, Director of the Oasis Women and Children shelter. “Particularly New Year’s, a lot of people are drinking, and that just intensifies the mood, jealousy. You might have talked to or walked by or looked at the wrong person, and your intimate partner is enraged at that.”
But she says this year may be particularly bad.
“This year, I think it’s going to be a little more intense with the pandemic and with the hurricanes here; people all staying together, living together, out of jobs, lack of resources. Those things all add to it.”
Williams says it’s important to have a plan when attempting to escape domestic abuse.
“Domestic violence deaths; 75 percent of them happen when you leave, so you have to have a plan. Maybe have an extra set of keys somewhere. Maybe have a bag stashed somewhere, some money that you can get your hands on, different things like that. It’s something you have to prepare for. You can’t just run out the door, generally.”
She also says it’s important to pay attention to signs that someone is being abused.
“At this time of year, when families are getting together, you can be aware of your other family members, maybe. People don’t always tell their families what’s going on, but when you’re in a room with the people, a lot of times you can see some signs.”
These signs include the abuser having a controlling attitude or the victim being unable to make eye contact.
“Pay attention to your family members. You could be the one that saves their life.”
If you or someone you know is being abused, you can call the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-888-411-1333.