Police say domestic violence increases during holiday season

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - by Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - They're supposed to be joyous times.  But law enforcement says during the holidays, they see domestic violence increase.

"That's because when people are off, that means they're spending more time together and so those stressors are more prevalent," says Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper, Jr..  "The economy, they're spending more money than they have. And that causes another stressor. Sometimes family visits that someone doesn't feel comfortable with. So all those issues conglomerate at the holidays."

Roper says it's important people know their own "hot buttons."

"And when that hot button starts to be pushed, they need to take a break, exhale, walk outside, take a drive, talk to someone but never resort to violence," he added.

DeShunn Wilkerson, a crisis line coordinator for the YWCA agrees, "First thing you need to keep in mind is that physical abuse, or any abuse, does not get better."

She stresses with Roper that victims need to talk to someone.

"Please at least know there are resources in the community that can help you," Wilkerson says.  "At least try it," Roper says.  "Give us a call and try it.  And I guarantee you we'll respond appropriately."

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