What's "new" in Denver Domestic Violence? Lately, sports and the weather have had a fair share of influence on domestic violence worries and concerns.
Cabin Fever Leaves Some Victims Confined and in Danger
Cold weather can leave many housebound and stir crazy. For most ordinary people, this is just one more reason to grab an extra helping of marshmallows. For families suffering from domestic violence, cabin fever may signal an extra helping of abuse.
Everyone knows how unbearable it can be cooped up in a small house with nowhere to go when it is too cold to go outside, or when the snow falls so high it is impossible to get out. If this happens for days on end even children get restless. The situation can become dangerous for women living with abusive partners whose tempers flare, particularly when confined in such awkward and limiting conditions.
Without transportation, women and children in these limiting conditions often have few places to turn for assistance. Men can also be victims of abuse. Although, it is much more common to see women trapped in domestic violence scenarios in the dead of winter (when cabin fever strikes and football season gears up).
Sports Team Fever
Another common scenario that presents during the fall and winter is the "fever" that catches on during football season. A good example is the recent Broncos Patriot game. Police were on high alert for increasing domestic violence calls before, during and after the game.
Whether a favorite team wins or loses, there is always the possibility of increased domestic violence during football games, particularly when the stakes are high. During playoffs, Superbowls, or other special events, there is generally more to lose, more betting, more drinking and more reason for tempers to flare.
People stay home and drink more, resulting in lost inhibitions. This makes vulnerable family members even more prone to attacks, particularly if the home team loses. However, anything can inspire a domestic violence attack. Accidentally buying the wrong nacho cheese can inspire a physical attack unfortunately, during playoffs, or even an ordinary football game, believe it or not.
NOT having food, or the right food, even during cold months when cabin fever strikes, can also become a life-threatening predicament for victims of domestic violence.
Just remember, when these things happen it is no reflection on you. You do not have control over the weather, any more than you have control over whether the home team wins or loses. It does help to know, however, that these things may be triggers for abuse events. Knowing this can put you one step ahead of the game. If you know inclement weather is coming, plan ahead!
Plan to have supports in place for game day. Keep yourself safe, and stay positive. If snow is on the forecast, consider this. Perhaps it may be time to plan for a getaway. Or, have a family member stay for a couple of days if possible for support.
Know the number of your local domestic violence support agency. Call for help if you need it. Never hesitate to call if your life is in danger!
Remember ... you are beautiful, wonderful and worthy of the best life has to offer you.
Hotline Numbers - Denver Shelters and Crisis Numbers
Safehouse Denver Inc. - 303-318-9989
National DV Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Catholic Charities Father Ed Judy House - 303-866-7641 (shelter, not a crisis number)
Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley - 303-772-4422
Family Tree - 303-420-6752 (TTY Available)