By Justin Lofton

Staff Writer

ADA—Sharell Caton, executive director of the Family Crisis Center, said rumors about an increase of domestic violence during the holiday season are more than just rumors.

“We just had six calls today from all over the state,” Caton said.  “It’s real.”

She said the increase in domestic violence usually begins before Thanksgiving.

“Christmas is the worst,” she said.

Caton said the holidays can be a stressful time of year due to money issues.

“I would guess lack of money is usually what starts the fuss and fighting and then it turns into domestic violence,” she said.

She said the pressure of trying to buy gifts for children without a dependable income often pushes couples over the edge.

“They start blaming each other,” she said.  “He says she spends too much.  She says he doesn’t make enough.”

Caton said Family Crisis Center has a shelter for victims of domestic violence.  Before closing hours at 5 p.m. these victims can go to the office at 605 East 12th Street and will be transported to the shelter.  For those without transportation, Family Crisis Center also has someone who can pick up victims of domestic violence in Oklahoma and take them to their shelter.  After office hours, Caton said victims can go to the police department and be transported to the shelter.

“We ask questions.  We try not to ask too many when they first get there but just get basic information,” she said.  The victims are given a toiletry kit.

She said victims of domestic abuse should call Family Crisis Center at (580) 436-3504.

“After the office closes, the number rolls over to the shelter and we have someone at the shelter 24 hours a day.  They take calls all night long,” she said.

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