Officials Say Abuse Spikes During Holiday Season

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

More than four hundred thousand people will be abused during the holiday season, a time many spend helping others.

The Big Sandy Family Abuse Center is open 24 hours a day all year and they say during the holidays the number of calls they receive goes up dramatically.

The Big Sandy Family Abuse Center is in Floyd County, but its location has to remain private for the security of the women who are staying there.

Deborah's identity has also been concealed because she fears for her life.

"We got married and at first everything was perfect," Deborah said.

But she says there was no honeymoon with her ex husband, the abuse started right after the wedding.

"He would make me lay on my face and put my face on the pillows and he would smother me and he would get up on my back and beat me in my head," Deborah said.

But counselors at the family abuse center say they get calls from people like Deborah year round.

"We provide them with safety first and foremost. A safe place to come to," Connie Little said.

When a victim calls the shelter a counselor will help them plan a safe exit from the abusers home, but they say the holidays are the worst time of year for abuse.

"We know that increased alcohol use through the holidays certainly brings on more stress on family relationships," Little said.

Connie Little says victims often stay in relationships because they convince themselves the abuse is only temporary.

"I would advise to anyone, when they start beating on you the first time, its time to get away from it," Deborah said.

Little says perpetrators often abuse their victims to try and control their lives.

If you or someone you know is being abused you can call the Big Sandy Family Abuse Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-649- 6605.

If you don't live in the Big Sandy area, they will help you find the shelter closest to you.


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