Domestic Violence Spikes During the Holidays

The hotline at Phoebe's Home, a shelter in Bryan for battered women, constantly rings especially during the holidays.

"It's during the holiday season people are interested in buying gifts, Phoebe's Home Director Peggy Zaongo said. "They're interested in doing more for their family, and when people can't satisfy their families they sometimes revert to violence."

Elizabeth, a resident at Phoebe's Home, understands these problems. She is a victim of domestic violence and so was her mother. Therefore she was taught very young that it's only natural.

"I was told no matter what a man does to you, stay with him," Elizabeth said. "He can have more than one family, and you have to stay with that man no matter what he puts you through."

But recently, Elizabeth realized violence isn't natural. She came to Phoebes Home after her fourth boyfriend beat her in front of her children.

"It took me a long time to understand that I am my own person and I don't have to be told what to do," Elizabeth said

What director Phoebe Zaongo says women are starting to realize. Right now Phoebes home is beyond capacity, but they are still taking in survivors. Elizabeth is one of those survivors, and she urges other women in her same predicament to get help before its too late.

"You can't change anybody," Elizabeth said. "No one can change unless they really want to. You have to quit playing God. You have to take care of your kids, and take care of yourself because no one else will."

If you are a victim of domestic violence you can call the Phoebe's Home hotline at 1-888-45AWAKE.