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Counselors warn about potential for increase in domestic violence over holidays

Franklin County Sheriff's Office numbers show more than 200 reports of domestic disputes for the 2015 and 2016 holiday season. (WSYX/WTTE)

Statistics from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office show a not-so-happy side of the holidays. Their numbers show more than 200 reports of domestic disputes for the 2015 and 2016 holiday season.

A PSA from The Center for Family Safety and Healing of Ohio’s “Where’s The Line” campaign, says on average more than three women a day are killed by their significant others across the country.

“When someone leaves a domestic situation that’s when they’re at the highest risk for homicide,” said The Center for Family Safety and Healing Director Sheryl Clinger.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said it received 94 reports of domestic violence between November and December last year. That number is down compared to 2015, there were 136 reports of domestic violence. But The Center for Family Safety and Healing said not all the victims report their abusers to law enforcement, instead they come to centers for help.

“I think we’re starting to see more people because this issue is coming to light more and people are talking about this issue and people are becoming more aware of resources, they’re realizing that they’re not alone,” said Clinger.

Kids can also feel the traumas of domestic violence even when they’re not directly targeted.

“Last year we were practically full on Christmas Day,” said the “Huckleberry House” Executive Director Becky Westerfelt.

The executive director said kids between 12 and 17 can come to the “Huckleberry House” if they need a safe house.

“We really try to encourage kids and even families to say if you are getting to a boiling point, you can come here and we can all figure it out together,” said Westerfelt.

The goal at the Huckleberry House is to reunite families. They have counselors to help parents solve their issues and make it safe for kids to go back home. If you would like more information visit their website here or teens can text the word SAFE and their location to 69866 for help.

If you would like more information about how the cycle of violence and how to detect it visit www.wherestheline.info

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