Experts say domestic violence increases as the holidays approach - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Experts say domestic violence increases as the holidays approach

It was a highly publicized case of holiday domestic violence.  Prosecutors say Ashley Scott was beaten to death on Thanksgiving Day 2006.  Her husband is charged with first degree murder.

Sadly, the beloved Bolton High School teacher was one of a high number of suspected domestic violence casualties that occur during the holidays. 

In 2001, North Little Rock Police say a grandfather shot and killed his own grandson before turning the gun on himself.  It happened 2 days before Christmas. 

"I think it all goes back to the stress of the holidays," said Sgt. Jim Scott of the North Little Rock Police Department.

Calls of domestic violence typically increase over the holiday period.  Memphis police dispatchers answer close to 2,000 calls a day during the holiday season.

In November and December, stress runs high in most families.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are prime times for abusers who use control over their victims, creating a spike in an already overwhelming crime trend.

In all of 2006, more than 80,000 domestic violence incidents were reported in Tennessee. Most of them were simple assaults. 

That same year, Tennessee tied for fifth in the nation for domestic violence related homicides. 

Victims who were most often killed by a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse. 

If you are a domestic violence victim who needs help you can call

  • the CAAP Domestic Violence Program in Memphis at 901-272-2221
  • the YWCA Abused Women Services at (901) 725-4277
  • the statewide domestic violence hotline number at 800-356-6767

Click here to send an email to Anna Marie Hartman.

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