Domestic violence advocates concerned holidays could contribute to a spike in calls for help
Necolle Winstead knows firsthand that holidays are not always festive and fun. She is a domestic violence survivor.
Winstead said for some the holidays are actually frightening and filled with fear. "In my case, my abuser was an alcoholic. And then around the holidays, it was more excessive, it was more drinking. And with that being said, there was more altercation," she said. After police were called Winsted's abuser was arrested and family members became angry. It's a far cry from cheerful.
"It's so hard, it's difficult because you think it's supposed to be such a joyous time, "said Winstead.
Reports detail domestic violence-related calls rise during the month of December. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline they are experiencing an unusually high call volume. Winstead attributes the cries out for help during the holidays to several things such as increased alcohol and substance abuse, spending more time alone with your partner, and just the stress of the holidays.
"Around the holidays, it gets harder, because they may feel like they have no one to talk to. And they feel isolated. Because this is supposed to be a happy time. And I'm not able to share what I'm really going through or share what my experiences and so they hold that, and they keep it in," she said. Those secrets can sometimes be detrimental to a victim's well-being.
This holiday season Winstead is encouraging everyone to look and listen to your loved ones because the cries for help could be more subtle than you think.
You can also find resources in your community by visiting the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.