by Anayeli Ruiz
The holidays are a time to spend with your loved ones but many women in West Texas see this as a chance to escape an abusive home. More women choose this time of the year to make a break for it.
The Crisis Center in Odessa sees a definite increase in battered women and children leaving their abusive homes. So much so that their hotline has seen a 10 percent jump in just the past few weeks.
"During the holidays are numbers go up don't believe an increase of violence but an increase in people wanting to get out of the violence," Renee Morris, Shelter Director of the Crisis Center, said.
She says the holidays are a time where women have the courage to get out of an ugly situation.
"For us the holiday's mean being with family and friends and it's a celebration. For a person who is living in violence they doesn't want to experience that at least during the holidays," Morris said.
And an unlikely enemy of domestic violence, the economy, and because the bills aren't being paid at home this triggers more anger and violence in spouses.
"If they are triggered, they take out their abuse more so when those triggers hit, the holidays is one of those," Morris said.
So that's why more and more women take their children and leave their homes to find a better and safer environment.
"There is an increase in our hotlines, we are brimming, meaning we are at our limit," Morris said.
But just because they are full, doesn't mean they can't help. If women and their families are in a dangerous atmosphere, they still have a chance to get out.
"If we can't house you here, there are other agencies in our community that have facilities just like ours," Morris said.
One of the benefits that the Crisis Center sees during the holidays is generosity from the community, they're willing to help these women get a fresh start.
"People want give, people want a share, people want to help other people and so the Crisis Center is a beneficiary of that because the community knows what we do that, we help victims of crime. We could not do what we want a do without the generosity of the community."
For more information on how you can lend a hand during these holidays to the families at the Crisis Center Shelter, call 432-333-2527.