‘It’s the season for escalation:’ Domestic Violence centers already seeing more people seeking help as holidays roll around
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Domestic violence centers across our area are already bracing for an influx of people seeking help as the holidays roll around.
The executive director of the Iris Domestic Violence Center tells WAFB, in the last week the number of people seeking shelter with them has doubled.
She says the holidays and the summer months are always the time of year when they see more domestic violence cases.
“It’s the season for escalation. Tensions are up, emotions are up, and a controller and an abuser, that’s not a good place to be with them,” said Patti Freeman, the executive director of IRIS.
Freeman also served as a deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for nearly three decades.
“I would say around most holidays our numbers start seeing an escalation. I think the crime escalates as well during those times,” said Freeman.
1 in 4 men and 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. The IRIS Center provides shelter for those who need it.
“Generally, if we do our assessment and through that assessment believe you are a victim of domestic violence, then we are going to find a means with which we can shelter you, or a safe place you can be,” said Freeman.
Just last month, the ‘Walk a Mile in their Shoes’ event highlighted the dozens of people killed by domestic violence related homicides in 2021.
And on Wednesday, November 23, police say a man is dead after his son shot and killed him just for blowing his nose.
“I don’ know where the solution is going to be down the road. You can’t keep me rolling because you see, I don’t understand when we started devaluing life or safety or making other people happy so you can be happy as well. I don’t know when that became something that we devalue as a society, but it’s happening,” said Freeman.
She wants people to know that help is out there.
“Whether it’s you need to leave today, or you need to make a plan because it will be safer for you to leave tomorrow or the next day, give us a call and let us help you facilitate that,” said Freeman.
Help is just a phone call away, IRIS’ 24-hour crisis line number is (225) 389-3001.
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