SAN ANTONIO -- At a time when many families are preparing to celebrate, the holidays can trigger violence.
At the Battered Women and Children's Shelter as many as 160 women and children will spend Thanksgiving and Christmas there this year.
"They are beaten, they are battered and so put down," said Linda Canizales with the shelter.
"Incidents of family violence and family disturbances tend to go up during the holidays. That's kind of been a widely-accepted premise," said Sgt. Jesse Salame with the San Antonio Police Department.
Sgt. Salame has seen it himself while working patrols and investigations: As people struggle with emotions, relatives get together after a long time and mix alcohol and money stress.
"These kinds of calls and these types of situations literally tear families apart," Sgt. Salame said.
The numbers tell their own story: Last year, SAPD received more than 13,000 calls for family violence, and 5,776 were documented as an incident.
"That can be a simple assault all the way up to a murder," Sgt. Salame noted.
Along with the holidays, sports is another trigger, including basketball and football. For two years now, the NFL has been airing domestic violence PSA's during the Super Bowl.
"Sometimes moms come in with one, two sometimes 4, 5, 6, 7 children," Canizales said.
The shelter is seeing the need go up, knowing that this time of year can be trying. In 2013, police handled 799 cases of family violence in November and December.
"Family and friends, at this time during holidays, remember to make themselves available and to be available when a victim is ready to reach out for support," Canizales said.
You can contact the Battered Women and Children's Shelter at 210-733-8810.
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