Officials warn of holiday domestic violence

Officials warn of holiday domestic violence
Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Reports of domestic violence tend to spike in various times of the year, especially around the holidays.

"Around this time we see an increase, it's generally about 10 or 15 percent increase, but again just one more is too many more for us," Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said.

That rise has been visible over the past few weeks in the Hub City, according to Traxler.

"Don't get overwhelmed with the presents, with the spending of the money cause in turn that's going to cause you to have disagreements and want to confront people and that's what leads to our domestic violence," Traxler said.

Things like money and shopping around the holidays are not the only things that can trigger violence.

"Going to Christmas parties, New Year's Eve parties, and remember drink responsibly so when you come home you're not in one of those moods where the alcohol is talking for you and you wind up doing something to hurt a spouse," Traxler said.

Victims may try to hide signs of domestic abuse, so watch for signs to help a friend or loved one.

"Bruises, lacerations, normal time you'd be coming to a party, but for some reason they all the sudden don't want to, or its warm outside and they want to wear a long sleeve shirt, things like that to try to hide signs of that," Traxler said.

The department has a domestic violence unit, and will investigate any case, but always needs the public's help in those cases.

"We would rather get a call and it turn out to be nothing instead of someone not call and it turn in to a serious case," Traxler said.

There are shelters in the Pine Belt that also partner with the Hattiesburg Police Department. If you are in need of one, or seeking their help, contact the department for shelter information.

"Remember we don't allow domestic violence here in the city of Hattiesburg, and we will prosecute for that so just keep that in mind," Traxler said.