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Stressors that arise during the holiday season tend to escalate domestic abuse

They say the best thing to do is to let the victim know you’re there for them willing to help or listen.

YORK, Pa. — The holiday season can be a cheerful but stressful time for many people.

“There are stressors about expectations, there are feelings of maybe you have more people in your house than you normally do and there are additional frictions and things like that," said Heather Seton from the YWCA York. 

For domestic abuse victims these factors can be dangerous. 

“When there are these mountain stressors, that unfortunately often times arise during the holidays and there’s also this existing dynamic of power and control, that’s when things can really escalate," said Seton. 

Experts say that if you think someone close to you might be a victim of domestic abuse, experts suggest family and friends to keep an eye out for some of these signs during the holiday season.

“You would be looking for signs of control. controlling what they say, controlling what they wear, controlling where they go. signs of anger that seems to be misplaced," said Christine Gilfillan, from the Domestic Violence Services program at CAP of Lancaster County. 

They say the best thing to do is to let the victim know you’re there for them willing to help or listen.

“What you don’t want to do is pressure them to do something that they’re not ready to do. so, it’s a fine line, I think between, expressing concern and saying I’m here for you, and I'm here to help, and I know about some resources, whenever you’re ready," said Gilfillan. 

The community action partnership of Lancaster County says the serve about 1,800 individuals in Lancaster County every year. 

“But we know probably that, that’s just the tip of the iceberg," said Gilfillan. 

 Here are the link to some resources:

Victim Services - YWCA York

Domestic Violence Safe House in Lancaster County PA (caplanc.org)

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