Saginaw nonprofit shares warning signs of domestic violence and how you can help connect

Advocates say the holidays also come with more risk of domestic violence
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 11:07 PM EST
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/24/2020) - ”There are a lot of factors that would make the holiday time more dangerous for people in these types of situations.”

The spread of COVID-19 is not the only concern this time of year. Advocates say the holidays also come with more risk of domestic violence.

It’s a topic ABC12 is diving into after learning about a woman in Saginaw who was rescued by police while being held against her will. The 25-year-old literally screamed for help and thankfully, she got it.

It all unfolded last night on Davenport Avenue. Two police officers started a chase after seeing the woman in someone’s back seat, yelling to get their attention. Eventually, police were able to arrest the 28-year-old driver at a dead end in Zilwaukee.

That woman is now safe, and the man faces possible charges.

Now, one Saginaw nonprofit say resources are still available for those in harms way. They say you too can help with just one action: connect.

The holiday season is already known for being stressful, even in years without a global pandemic. For people experiencing domestic violence, the stress is that much more dangerous, but they might not show it.

“There’s a lot of need to sort of put on a happy face and a happy front. They kind of are more likely to sort of push through until they can at least get to January, and then maybe they can get some help,” Allie Martinez said.

Martinez is the community engagement manager for the Underground Railroad Inc in Saginaw, a domestic violence shelter and crisis advocacy agency.

She says someone experiencing domestic abuse could show some signs raising red flags.

“Someone who would normally be the life of the party, if you will, is now more reserved, and they’re not talking as much or maybe they’re not able to show up to family functions,” Martinez said.

Martinez says the best thing you can do for someone who might be in this troubling situation is to connect -- especially during a time where we’re already less connected than usual this holiday season.

“It’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re reaching out to people, sending messages, getting them on Zoom calls, getting them on face-to-face interactions, so you can really catch up with what’s going on in their life,” Martinez said.

When people are less connected, they’re less likely to leave their home or reach out to get the support they need -- making them more susceptible.

That’s why Underground Railroad, Inc. wants to remind people that their services are available 24/7, including a help line, text line, and shelter , connecting you with the right resources.

“You don’t have to come into our shelter to receive services, and so what our advocates on that help line can do is set up sort of a safety plan with you on how to safely get through the holidays,” Martinez said.

To visit their website, click here.

Additional resources are available from the State Health Department.

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