Holidays can make domestic violence worse - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Holidays can make domestic violence worse

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December 19, 2007

Albany -- The Liberty House is filled with bright colored packages tied up with string.

"Some of the gifts are for the families that are in the shelter. Other things are going to get delivered by Friday," said Executive Director Silke Deeley.

Counselors and volunteers donated the gifts to spread some holiday cheer, giving families recovering from domestic violence some of their favorite things.

"We are doing Christmas for families to make sure that their Christmas is as good as anybody else's," said Deeley.

But for those still in abusive relationships, the holidays can be painful. The stress of the holidays along with the financial strain it causes many families could make domestic violence worse.

"Probably within the last two months alone their have easily been 150 phone calls to the police department and that doesn't include the ones that we get here," said Deeley.

Despite the increase, the number of new families that enter the Liberty House is the lowest this time of year.

"We feel the brunt of it after the holidays because regardless of what type of family anybody has, they want to be with their families whether there is violence in it or not," said Deeley.

The decision to leave has to be made by that person when they are ready.

"I think its important to understand that if he threatens to kill you to take that very seriously.  And understand that we're here and that not everyone has to come into the shelter. We can provide services for them with out them going into the shelter," said Deeley.

The Liberty House has already assisted more than 70 women this year and answered more than 1,300 crisis phone calls.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence don't be afraid to call the Liberty House. Their 24-hour hotline is 229-439-7065.

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