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OK Domestic Violence Shelters See Spike During Holidays

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Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, unfortunately it also kicks off one of the most dangerous times for victims of domestic violence. The Oklahoma City YWCA says they see a spike in abuse during the holidays. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, unfortunately it also kicks off one of the most dangerous times for victims of domestic violence. The Oklahoma City YWCA says they see a spike in abuse during the holidays.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, unfortunately it also kicks off one of the most dangerous times for victims of domestic violence. The Oklahoma City YWCA says they see a spike in abuse during the holidays.

The YWCA’s theme this year is “Every Christmas is not Merry.” That’s because, while the holidays can be a joyous time of year, they can also be stressful. And domestic violence experts will tell you stress often leads to abuse.

It was late November, one year ago when firefighters put out a fire near Newalla, and found the body of Brandi Fish. Court papers would reveal her husband, Cody, confessed to punching her, hitting her with a wrench, then stabbing her several times with a screw driver, before starting the fire to cover up the crime.

It's a horrific case of domestic violence. But experts say it happens way too often, especially this time of year.

“Domestic violence is all about power and control,” explained OKC YWCA CEO Jan Peery. “So when that stress kicks in, and a perpetrator feels like they are losing control, they are going to take control where the know they can.”

But Peery says women often won't seek help during the holidays because they don't want to take the children away from the abuser. But in reality, those children are being abused emotionally and 60% to 70% are abused physically too.

“So we know we’re keeping them safer when they come there and we want to do that and also give them a sense of dignity while they’re there.”

Last year, the YWCA opened a new shelter that included special family rooms and a more-homey feel.

“We try to create at the shelter an environment that they feel like this is a different family; a family of everybody working together helping though that journey of trauma.”

To get help you can call the YWCA’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (405) 917-9922.

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