Domestic violence during the holidays; help is available - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Domestic violence during the holidays; help is available

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As the holidays approach so do the increased chances for violence. For many community organizations, it is a time to raise awareness about domestic violence.

According to the CDC, every minute 20 people in the U.S. become victims of domestic violence.

Community leaders say unfortunately there are always sad reminders this time of year of how often domestic violence happens.

"It's something that lives with them day in and day out for the rest of their lives when they lose a loved one to a crime," says Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson.

A north Georgia family is mourning the loss of a 38-year-old woman who police say was shot and killed over the weekend by her husband.
"We see that holidays just escalate these situations," says Wilson.

Two years ago Georgia ranked 10th in the nation for men killing women.

In Tennessee, more than half of all 'crimes against persons' are domestic violence related.
"The holidays can be really nice and a really joyous occasion for some people. But it's not that way for everyone," says Bergen Baucom Aldahir.

Aldahir is the community outreach coordinator for the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults in Chattanooga.
"The Partnership runs the only domestic violence shelter in Hamilton County."

At any given time, The Partnership houses between 30 and 40 people including victims and their family members

"We shelter people regardless of gender. So anyone who is a victim of violence can find a safe refuge," says Aldahir.

Although women are more commonly the victim.
"It's such a private crime that it's hard to feel so alone when it happens to you but you're not alone. One in four women will be the victim of violence in their lifetime," says Aldahir.

Besides a shelter, the center offers counseling and a 24-hour hotline for anyone needing help.
"That phone call can be very difficult."

Last year, The Partnership hotline helped 10,000 people.

"We really want to work with each victim, help them transition to survivor status and do that as safely as possible."

The Partnership's crisis hotline is 423-755-2700.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233.

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