AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Across the country, the number of cases of domestic violence is increasing, and there are some resources locally for victims.
Safe Homes of Augusta offers assistance to victims of domestic abuse.
According to the CDC, domestic violence affects more than one in three women and about one in three men in the U.S. Many cases go unreported due to feelings of fear and hopelessness.
“Domestic violence…there’s no discrimination,” says Aimee Hall, executive director of Safe Homes of Augusta. “It can happen to anyone at any time.”
Statistics have shown domestic violence to be on the rise, especially since COVID began.
“That comes from the stressors of, you know, finances, and employment, and you know…even the holidays are a stressor,” said Hall. “And that can exasperate domestic violence.”
However, Hall says that domestic violence in the area tends to decrease during the holiday season.
“I think that, obviously, it’s from families wanting to stay together during the holidays…you know, the children,” said Hall. “Just trying to keep that family unit together.”
After the holidays, Safe Homes tends to see an uptick in domestic violence cases.
So, what are the signs to look out for?
“Of course, everybody knows physical violence is a form of domestic violence,” said Hall. “But also, I don’t think people realize the financial abuse, you know…are they controlling all the dollars that you spend? Are they allowing you to work?”
Additional signs are name calling, gaslighting, isolation and being forced to change.
“An abuser has power and control,” said Hall. “And, you know, they can easily make a victim feel horrible about themselves.”
Safe Homes offers living assistance, outreach and support groups to those in need.
And given one in three teenagers experiences dating violence, they also work with in-school social workers.
“If you feel like you’re in that situation, find that one friend that you can truly talk with,” said Hall. “And I want to encourage the friend that is hearing these stories to be a non-judgmental ear for that person, because you always want that victim to have a place- a safe place- to go and to talk.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, call Safe Homes’ 24-hour hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
For information on their upcoming ‘Fake It to Make It’ fundraiser and other ways you can support, visit safehomesdv.org.