BR sees up-tick in domestic violence at end of holiday season

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As predicted the immediate after holiday season up-tick in domestic violence has struck Baton Rouge. Three incidents of alleged domestic abuse reported in the past couple of days, including two today.

On New Year's Day Baton Rouge Police were investigating a late night brawl on Convention St. in the 1200 hundred block. Police initially thought it was gang-related, but quickly found a different version.

"It's domestic in nature. It's all family members involved and prior to our arrival everyone involved in this altercation fled the scene," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely of Baton Rouge Police.

Earlier today BRPD began investigating another possible case of domestic abuse. They responded to a man being stabbed. His wife told dispatchers she did it after he hit her. That is still under investigation.

Before that incident, a woman was shot in the chest during a domestic dispute.

Experts believe abusers who can feel an incident coming on should leave.

"Some people are able to say, 'ok, I see this going in a direction which may be detrimental to me or detrimental to my significant other. I need to separate myself from this scene.' Very few people are strong enough to do that," says Dawn Dawson a domestic abuse counselor.

But she concedes the victim needs to stay diligent.

"Consequently, they stay in it because we believe we can fix things. You can't fix a bad relationship. People need help and they need to acknowledge they need help...this is something bigger than me," adds Dawson.

She says getting treatment is the key to getting out of a bad situation.

"If you don't seek help, if you don't reach out and get help, it's like putting a band-aid on cancer. It won't go away. The fact that I love a person a whole lot does not mean it's going to keep me from hurting that person. People in love still hurt each other many times," admits Dawson.

And the Christmas season can make it worse.

"These people continue to do, exhibit the same behavior for 12-months and at Christmas they believe things are going to be different - they're not," says Dawson.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance related to domestic violence, please call the Louisiana Statewide Hotline at (888) 411-1333. The call center is free and available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are kept confidential.