WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) -Thanksgiving is usually a joyous time for many families, but for others it can mean an increase in domestic violence issues.
Wichita Falls First Step has created a safe house, open to victims to stay without fear of being hurt when things get tough at home.
“You try to just shove it down and not bring anything to the surface and try your best to not expose it to them and behind the scenes all hell breaks loose.” says a First Step domestic violence survivor.
According to First Step there is a 53 percent increase of domestic violence 911 calls during the holiday season than on an average day.
“We have to think about this pandemic as well that is going to add I think we’re going to see a much higher increase adding that to the holidays.” said Michelle Turnbow First Step Executive Director.
The holidays are usually at time when some families experience financial strains and are spending more time at home, which is when victims need to reach out for help.
“I think that its super hard for someone to leave their home during that time but it is a need for them to do so.” said Michelle Turnbow First Step Executive Director.
First Steps ‘safe house has 32 beds, a full kitchen, laundry room and even a play room, everything a survivor would need to feel at home.
The safe house has provided more than just a place to stay, through the program it’s changed the lives of hundreds of men, women , and children who have experienced abuse.
First step will be providing dinner on November 26 for families inside the shelter but they still need donations to help with their Christmas Snowmen.
To find out how to donate or for information about First Step visit their website.