YWCA offers resources for domestic abuse victims
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The holidays are often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, but for victims and survivors of domestic violence, this can be an especially stressful time.
The YWCA said one in three women, and one in four men suffer from domestic violence, and while we hear about more incidents of domestic violence during the holidays, experts said this is a problem that plagues our communities 365 days a year.
Experts point to several reasons for the increase in domestic violence, including the heightened stress from the holidays. Shopping for gifts and meals can put a financial strain on families, and excessive alcohol consumption can bring out the worst in people.
Families may also be in closer proximity to the person causing the abuse during the holidays with kids out of school and more people at home from work.
Alexandria Means with the YWCA stresses that domestic violence is not seasonal and recognizing the warning signs and cycles of abuse is the key to helping victims.
“If you have a friend, family member who is experiencing domestic violence, first, listen. Just listen to what this person has to say about their situation and believe them and become knowledgeable and educate yourself on the dynamics of domestic violence, on the warning signs of domestic violence, and what resources are available, such as the YWCA,” explained Program Manager for Domestic Violence for the YWCA, Alexandria Means.
So, what can a victim of domestic violence do to protect themselves? The YWCA recommends developing a safety plan with a trusted friend, calling 911 if you’re in danger, and keeping important papers, medication, money and change of clothing in a safe place in case you decide to leave.
For more information, contact the YWCA Domestic Violence Crisis Line at (205) 322-HURT (4878), or call the YWCA Central Alabama at the following locations:
Jefferson County: (205) 322-9922
Blount County: (205) 322-8303
St. Clair County: (205) 338-8808
Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.