AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Across the country, the number of cases of domestic violence is increasing, and there are few resources available 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 approximately one in three men in the United States. Many cases go unreported due to feelings of fear and hopelessness.
“Domestic violence … is not discrimination,” says Aimee Hall, executive director of Safe Homes of Augusta. “It can happen to anyone at any time.”
Statistics have shown that domestic violence is on the rise, especially since COVID started.
“That comes from the stresses of, you know, finances and employment, and you know … even the holidays are a stress,” Hall said. “And that can fuel domestic violence.”
However, Hall says domestic violence in the area tends to decrease during the holiday season.
“I think obviously, it’s from families that want to stay together for the holidays … you know, the kids,” Hall said. “Just trying to keep that family unit together.”
After the holidays, Safe Homes tends to see an increase in domestic violence cases.
So, what are the signs to look out for?
“Of course, everyone knows that physical violence is a form of domestic violence,” Hall said. “But also, I don’t think people realize the financial abuse, you know…do they monitor every dollar that you spend? Do they allow you to work?”
Additional signs are name, gaslighting, isolation and compulsion to change.
“An abuser has power and control,” Hall said. “And, you know, they can easily make a victim feel terrible about themselves.”
Safe Homes offers living assistance, outreach and support groups to those in need.
And based on one in three teenagers experiencing violence, they also work with in-school social workers.
“If you feel like you’re in that situation, find that friend you can really talk to,” Hall said. “And I want to encourage the friend who hears 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 talk.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call Safe Homes’ 24-hour helpline 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.