National Domestic Violence Hotline prepares for increase in calls

As families go their separate ways after the holidays domestic violence help groups prepare for an increase in calls. One such place is the National Domestic Violence Hotline based here in Austin.

Tuesday the numbers of those seeking advice for a volatile dating or marital relationship climbed as the minutes ticked by.

Call takers man these lines around the clock as domestic violence never stops. Not even on Christmas.

"One of the things that keeps everyone here up at night is the thought of people going home and not being safe,” said National Domestic Violence Hotline Spokesperson Cameka Crawford.

National domestic violence hotline spokesperson Cameka Crawford says victims will put safety on hold for the holidays.

"What we hear from people when they do reach out is the holidays are a time they want to keep families together. If there are children involved. People want to keep their children with both parents so children can experience a holiday with complete family present,” said Crawford.

On Sunday, December 11th the center received 1,168 calls, texts or chats. Sunday the 18th was just shy of that at 1,082. Compare both to Christmas Day when 827 reached out.

Now that the holiday is over, the usual call volume returns.

"We typically see things go back to normal around New Year's Day. So around the 2nd or 3rd when people are starting to get back into work, starting to get back into their daily routines we will start to see numbers go back to what they typically are,” said Crawford.

Last week two Austin women lost their lives in family violence situations:  40-year-old Nicole Volmer who police say was shot by her husband and 35-year-old Maggie Ruiz who was fatally stabbed by her stepson.

"It's something that weighs on us, but you know at the same time there's also hope every time that phone rings and we're able to answer a call,” said Crawford.

Crawford encourages those experiencing abuse to make what could be a life-saving call.

"If you were in an abusive relationship I would say to you, you are not alone,” said Crawford.

You can reach the hotline by dialing 1-800-799-7233.

Participate in a live chat here:  http://www.thehotline.org/what-is-live-chat/

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