Domestic abuse cases up during holidays

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Sadly, there aren’t too many silent nights during the holiday season these days.

Minden Police and Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies have been working an unusually high number of domestic abuse battery cases among family members over the last couple of weeks.

Law enforcement officers say there are several reasons those cases are up.

“The holiday season brings financial concerns,” said Minden Police Chief Elect Jared McIver. “The cold weather forces people to stay indoors more. When they stay indoors more, people who are typically not together as much are together more. And there you have it.”

McIver said he’s not excusing domestic abuse battery.

“These are just contributing factors,” he added.

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker agreed, saying the holidays do bring stress on families and most of his department’s domestic cases are forwarded by 911.

“Alcohol is involved … parties and get-togethers,” Parker said. “Some people just let it get out of hand sometimes.”

It seems most of the abuse occurs in families, he added.

“Look at the economy,” Parker said. “The electric bills, groceries, everything is sky high. You’re almost spending double of what you would several years ago. It puts a burden on folks to try to manage Christmas and also survive.”

If domestic violence is an issue, there are legal actions that can be taken by filing protective orders.

“Most of the time protective orders work,” Parker said. “It’s a court order from a judge, and some people do break it. But it has a little bite to it, which gives us grounds to make arrests.”

Family Justice Center of Northwest Louisiana and Project Celebration Inc. (hot line: 1-888-411-1333) help the families with long-term issues.

“If we need to get the family out of a situation and put them up in a local motel for a night or two … give them some breathing room … we can do that,” said the sheriff.

For immediate help, call 911, 377-1515 (sheriff’s department) or 377-1212 (Minden Police).

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