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Domestic violence shelters anticipating increase in calls come the new year

In 2020, The Cocoon served nearly 750 survivors of domestic violence. In 2021, they served about 800, proving the need for resources continues to increase.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — As the new year approaches, domestic violence shelters are preparing to have more people reach out to them for help.

"Our emergency shelter has remained full for the last two years. It’s very unusual that we would have a bed open for any length of time. We have families that are continuing to move in," The Cocoon Executive Director Kathy Mull said.  

The year 2021 was record-breaking for many domestic violence shelters, with a large number of people reaching out for assistance.

To put things into perspective, in 2020, The Cocoon served nearly 750 survivors of domestic violence. In 2021, they served about 800, proving the need for domestic violence resources continues to increase

RELATED: Blush Aesthetics collecting donations for victims of domestic violence

Typically around this time of year, shelters do not see as many people come forward asking for help, but come January, there is a spike in survivors looking for help.

"Survivors, just like the rest of us, a lot of times try to really keep that holiday time as a special time; and so we’ll find a lot of times that survivors are really working hard to try to keep things together. Then what we will typically see right after we get through the first of the year, is that we get a large uptick in folks calling," Mull said.

According to Mull, they've seen a record number of women with children coming forward.  

With New Year’s Eve being a big drinking night, domestic violence advocates are preparing for people to reach out in the new year.  While alcohol and drugs don’t crest sexual violence, they can intensify situations where it already exists.

"What we know is is that alcohol or drug use in the home can exacerbate the situation it can increase levels of violence that might be happening. But, typically there is violence already occurring in the home separately from the drug and alcohol," Mull said.

For more information or to donate to The Cocoon, click here