Domestic Violence Cases are up 100% in East Texas

by Kirby Gibbs

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Christmas season can be a stressful time of year, and this year, with the added burden of the economic crisis, some families are falling victim to domestic violence. This may explain why shelters in Lufkin are experiencing an increase in domestic violence cases this holiday sesason.

A recent study done by the Allstate Foundation shows that there has been a 100% spike at East Texas domestic violence shelters. Joann Black, the Assistant Director of the Family Crisis Center of East Texas, told KTRE that they've seen 50 % more cases than they did this time last year.

"I think that the added stress of the economic situation and of the holidays, it just adds fuel to the fire. And so a lot of situations they may be more dangerous and there may be more abuses that get more physical this time of the year. Because they have the added stress, I think that may bring more victims out seeking services".

Diedra Ware, a Counselor at the Family Crisis Center says there are ways for survivors to cope with stressors. "One healthy coping skill is to talk with friends, relatives or professionals about the emotions you're experiencing. Other coping skills are taking care of yourself, self care; taking time to do things you enjoy; taking time with your family. Another tool to use is communication. You may feel uncomfortable to communicate with those that you love or coworkers, but it can resolve a lot of conflicts if you just talk about how you feel."

Survivors of abusive homes are urged by crisis centers to devise a game plan of getting out.

"We want people to know that they need to have a safety plan of action if they do want to get out of an abusive relationship. They'll know were to go, they'll have someone to go stay with" says Black.

The Family Crisis Centers are available 24/7 to assist survivors. They encourage anybody needing emergency services to call the crisis hotline at 1-800- 828 7233.