‘Tis the season of giving, but also the season of partying, drinking and increased domestic violence incidents, according to law enforcement officials.

“The ‘domestics’ always go up this time of year,” according to Wyoming County Sheriff C. S. Parker.

“My guess would be because of the increase in parties and drinking,” he said.

However, domestic violence is an every day occurrence in Wyoming County, Parker emphasized.

“Most of these are family situations, either a husband and wife fighting, or a parent and child,” Parker explained. “It creates a lot of dangerous situations.

“Once a deputy is on the scene, if he sees some type of abuse, then he has to make an arrest. A lot of times, when the victim sees the abuser is going to be arrested, then the one who has been hit will turn on the officer too. It makes for a bad situation,” Parker noted.

A restraining order is designed to keep the abuser away from the victim for 90 to 180 days, Parker said.

If the abuser violates the order, then he/she can be arrested, taken before a magistrate and usually ends up going to jail, he said.

A victim’s best option is to call the sheriff’s office for help, he said.

“We can remove them from that situation, take them to a family member’s house or a shelter,” Parker said.

Shelter for domestic violence victims from Wyoming County is provided at the Stop Abusive Family Environments (SAFE) in Hemphill, near Welch, in McDowell County or at the Women’s Resource Center in Raleigh County, according to officials.

Those who are in abusive situations and are contemplating leaving can go to the SAFE Transitional Housing Facility in Hemphill, near Welch; it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For assistance, phone 1-800-688-6157 any time.

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