Local law enforcement agencies are cautioning the public about the potential rise in domestic violence during the holidays.
Officers said it's very important to be aware of the warning signs. Stress is one of the reasons domestic violence increases during the holiday season.
Lt. Susan See of the Houston County Sheriff's Department said that's when financial troubles and excessive drinking can lead to violent episodes.
The abuse can be physical, verbal or mental and family members are usually the first to notice.
Officials said it's best to seek help from a support group before police officers are called to intervene.
If you'd like to help someone involved in domestic violence, here are some numbers to call: For those who may be offenders, you can call the "Safe" Organization toll free 1-888-376-3838. If the person is a "victim" of domestic violence, you can call the House of Ruth at 334-793-2232.
wtvynews4.com Extended Web Coverage:
- While women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.
- Violence by an intimate accounts for about 21 percent of violent crime experienced by women and about two percent of the violence experienced by men.
- In 92 percent of all domestic violence incidents, crimes are committed by men against women.
- Of women who reported being raped and/or physically assaulted since the age of 18, 76 percent were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabitating partner, date or boyfriend.
- Studies show that child abuse occurs in 30-60 percent of family violence cases that involve families with children.
- A child’s exposure to the father abusing the mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
- The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.4 million adults are stalked annually in the United States.
- Family violence costs the nation from $5 to $10 billion annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters and foster care, sick leave, absenteeism, and non-productivity.
Source: www.ndvh.org (National Domestic Violence Hotline Web Site) contributed to this report