Holidays can raise risk of domestic violence
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - This time of year, police and deputies see a lot of a sad side of the holidays: domestic violence.
But violence prevention experts say holiday stress is no excuse.
Operators expect the unexpected at Pima County's 911 Center but they also expect some calls will surge at certain times of the year---and around the holidays, they brace for a jump in domestic violence calls.
Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Peine says, "It's one of the most dangerous calls we respond to because it's an unknown situation and often times people call 911 because initially they want help, however when law enforcement arrives at the scene and somebody is potentially arrested and taken away, things may turn quickly."
The sad fact is families are not always as warm towards each other as we see in ideal images of Thanksgiving. Add family friction, to lots of alcohol and domestic violence can break out.
Kimberly Thompson, of Emerge, the Center Against Domestic Abuse says, "Holidays are a stressful time for everybody but what's hard about this is domestic abuse happens every day of the year."
Thompson says there's no excuse for domestic violence. She says Emerge does get more calls for help in the holidays, but the holidays may hide even more domestic trouble.
"It's such a hidden problem that maybe people don't call 'til after the holiday, they try and maintain relationships during that time or they have people, other people watching, so they're not going to be as abusive as they normally would in isolation."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "So there are things pulling people in two different directions; some forces that would restrain them and some that would aggravate?"
Thompson: "I would say that's very true."
Thompson says if you feel in immediate danger call 911 and when you feel you can call safely, call the Emerge hotline at 1-888-428-0101