Three Christmas Day Domestic Violence Incidents Under Investigation in Newark's South Ward
Several individuals, including women, were taken into custody in three of several domestic violence incidents that occurred around Newark on Christmas Day.
Police say three of the most serious incidents occurred in the city's South Ward and caused hospitalization for some of the victims.
In the first South Ward incident, a crime scene unit was requested to respond to the Clinton Avenue precinct to take photos of a victim who reported being attacked in a domestic incident prior to arriving at the police department at around 4:15 p.m.
According to police, just before 7:15 p.m., officers rushed to an address in the 300 block of Clinton Place after receiving reports of a woman being attacked and beaten at that location. Officers arrived and immediately requested EMS after locating the woman suffering serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Shortly after the Clinton Place incident, Newark South Ward officers were called to an address in the 100 block of Elizabeth to investigate a domestic violence attack of a woman at the hands of a man. Units arrived and requested a crime scene for the victim who reportedly was choked by the suspect but was not severely injured.
While police figures in sections of NJ demonstrate a rise in domestic violence incidents, frontline services -such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline- say they experience a lull around Christmas Day. Phone calls are not the only was victims are reporting but emails reporting domestic violence situations have tremendously gone up.
"Around the holidays, you have to keep up appearances," according to officials at The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
"You have family around your house, and you might not be able to get away and call for help. We experience calls increasing around January 2, when women are back at work and able to call for help without being caught," officials said.
Officials at The National Domestic Violence Hotline said there are multiple explanations for why abuse might increase over the holidays.
"We never want to make excuses for domestic violence because domestic violence is about power and control," officials said in a statement.
"What happens is the risk factors that lend themselves to domestic violence can escalate over the holidays." These include stress caused by the financial strain of Christmas, the pressures of being around family (many abusers like to isolate their victims); increased alcohol or substance consumption; and just the fact abusers will be at home with victims and have more opportunities for violence.
National Domestic Violence Hotline officials said, for victims, the Christmas holiday can be a difficult time psychologically.
"Because they're around their children more, and are conscious of the fact they're not able to give them the Christmas they want." These feelings of failure and shame can be a powerful motivator to seek help.
We've spoken to women for whom Christmas was the trigger. It made them realize they had to leave the abusive situation because they could see it wasn't acceptable for their children to have to put up with it around Christmas," National Domestic Violence Hotline officials continued.
Overall holiday domestic violence figures from Newark were not immediately available for this report.
INFORMATION CREDIT: National Domestic Violence Hotline, VICE