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Not everyone’s Christmas is merry

By Angela Roughton

Community Advocate, Inner Banks Hotline

The holidays are often thought of as the best time of the year. It is a time for loved ones, celebration, and joy.

However, for victims of domestic violence, the holidays can be a very dark and scary time. Unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and the increased consumption of alcohol can raise stress levels, which can contribute to incidents of domestic violence.

Since the holiday season is supposed to be the best time of the year, many people have high expectations. These can include giving the best gifts, balancing time effectively, getting along with family, and having an abundance of holiday spirit. Many people can become stressed while trying to live up to these heightened expectations, and feel devastated if they fail.

Before the holidays, it is important to set realistic expectations and realize that things may not go as planned. Domestic violence is more likely to occur when stress levels are high.

If you find that you are in a domestic violence situation, it is important to have a safety kit in case you have to exit quickly. This kit should be hidden in a safe place and should include emergency numbers, a bag of clothing and toiletries, important documents such as birth certificates and a driver’s license, medication, prescriptions, car keys, house keys, and cash.

Remember IBX Hotline is always here for you! Our 24-hour crisis line number is 1-877-429-5526.

Our Thrift Store hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and donations accepted in the back in the open carport.

We are at 507 US Hwy 64 East (beside Family Dollar) in Columbia, 252-796-5526.

Inner Banks Hotline staff members are: Janie Spencer, Executive Director; Emily Edwards, Client Advocate; Angela Roughton, Community Advocate; Gloria Owens Thrift Store Manager; and Lisa Woodley, Faith/Hispanic Outreach Advocate.