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10,000 Nights of Safe Shelter provided by Center for Prevention of Abuse since January 2020

Domestic violence calls increase during Holidays
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 3:44 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News) - On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the Peoria Police Department arrested multiple individuals on domestic violence-related charges, some of which involved bodily harm.

The Holidays, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, often see a spike in domestic violence-related calls and this year was no exception.

Fran Reyes, Director of Domestic Violence Family Centered Services at the Center for Prevention of Abuse says that the Holidays and the impending third year of COVID-19 provide unique stressors.

“There could be a lot of added stressors during the holidays. The abusive individual could be spending more time than usual at home. They could be partaking in substances, or more substance use, so using alcohol or other substances.” Said Reyes.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse has provided a vital lifeline for those suffering from domestic violence in the Peoria area. Since the start of 2020, the Center has provided over 10,000 nights of safe shelter for victims and they have handled thousands of other domestic violence-related situations. When it comes to domestic abuse, the solution is not as simple as just leaving.

“It is very difficult for a victim of domestic violence to leave this situation. It’s very personal for them. The decision has to be made by the individual. And we have to be able to provide that support to them and understand that that decision again has to be made by that individual.” Said Reyes.

Reyes goes on to express the importance of supportive listening when they handle a case of domestic violence and that supportive listening goes a long way.

“It’s important to provide that supportive listening, the understanding that, yes, these things are hurtful. And they’re happening, that it’s not healthy. There are individuals who can help. These are patterns of unhealthy behaviors that are just continuing and they’re happening over and over again. And the hope is that one day, the victim recognizes that and decides that they’ve had enough and they will leave that unhealthy relationship.” Said Reyes.

For more on how the Center for Prevention of Abuse helps survivors in Peoria, visit their website.

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