MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There were more than two dozen domestic violence arrests over the Thanksgiving weekend across Mobile and Northwest Florida.
Among them, two attempted murder cases, one in Mobile and one in Baldwin County, and a deadly shooting in Fort Walton Beach. In Mobile County alone, 24 domestic violence arrests. Many think domestic violence increases over the holidays. But experts believe this alarming number has nothing to do with the holiday season.
“I think what it shows you is there is a lot of domestic violence in our community,” said Tonie Ann Coumanis Torrans, the Executive Director of Penelope House.
Over the span of 96 hours, Mobile police and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office responded to more than 20 domestic violence calls, making 24 arrests.
One, a shooting at Pecan Cove apartments, where a grandfather is accused of shooting his grandson on Thanksgiving.
Domestic violence experts say an increase of domestic violence over the holidays is actually a myth.
“People are you know trying to keep their families intact for the holidays. So sometimes abusers, actually victims, are less likely to come for help because they’re trying to make the holidays as good as they can be. Especially if they have children. You see that repeatedly,” said Torrans.
According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, the national average for domestic violence calls is down over the holidays. In 2017, the number of calls on an average day hovered around 730. On Thanksgiving of 2017, there were about 350 calls, nation-wide.
“Domestic Violence is about power and control. Usually, it’s a progression,” said Torrans.
Penelope House says during the holidays, they promote “Peace on Earth begins at home.”
“If it doesn’t start at home, it’s very difficult for that peace, good tidings, and goodwill to flow out of your home to your neighborhood and churches and synagogues and things like that. You’ve got to have the peace in the home,” said Torrans.
Penelope House has a 24-hour crisis line if you are in need of help. You can call it at (251) 342-8994.