INDIANAPOLIS – Our community is experiencing a rise in domestic violence calls as we move through the holiday season. Agencies are asking Hoosiers to reach out for help before a situation becomes worse.

Research shows the holidays can see an uptick in domestic violence calls because of stress, increased alcohol and drug use and family gatherings. Local advocates are encouraging those experiencing domestic abuse to get help.

“The calls for agencies goes down but the calls for IMPD go up,” said Danyette Smith, Director of Domestic Violence Reduction.

Smith is the Director of Domestic Violence Reduction in Indianapolis.

“The majority of the reason why is they don’t want to shift their families knowing Christmas is coming,” Smith said.

Smith says abuse can be hard to spot. “Most of the times, the families don’t know,” Smith added.

She encourages victims to reach out for help. The Indy Champions for Domestic Violence Prevention is a service that connects victims with available resources in their area. 

“Calling Indy Champions will allow us to do that intake and be able to streamline you to where you need to go, which prevents you from three or four intakes and those no’s when you desperately need a yes,” Smith said.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24-7, 365 days a year.

On their homepage, it states they are seeing a surge in callers reaching out for help. Still– emergency resources are available.

“If it’s a dangerous situation, please call 911 so they can come and help you leave,” Smith said. “There’s not such a thing as not being able to leave even when the storm comes because our emergency personnel still has to work.”

Smith wants others who have experienced domestic violence to know they’re not alone. 

“I can remember the Christmases in fear,” Smith said. “I can remember the Christmases my kids didn’t have it because I fled. We’re not forcing anyone to make that move, even though we know it’s dangerous. But to know that you can pick up and call someone with no judgment who understands how it feels to go back 7 or 8 times.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24-7. The number is 1-800-799-safe. Or you can text ‘START’ to 88788.

The Indy Champions for Domestic Violence Prevention is a partnership between the Indy Public Safety Foundation (IPSF) and the Office of Public Health and Safety (OPHS), developed as part of the City’s Violence Reduction Strategy.