Local Shelter Seeing More Abuse Cases with Hot Weather

By: Amaka Ubaka Email
By: Amaka Ubaka Email

A disturbing trend in the Omaha area and experts say it might be due in part to the hot weather.

Workers at the Lydia House report a 30% spike in cases of violence during the summer months.

“We see a lot more domestic violence victims seeking shelter in the summer months, not only because the situation has escalated but because it's a good time to move their family when their out of school,” says Charity Watts Program Director at the Lydia House.

Mikaela Fichter has been staying at the Lydia House since October and says she went through years of physical and emotional abuse with an ex-boyfriend.

“It was you can't go anywhere, you can't have a phone, you can't open the blinds in your house,” says Fichter.

She says it was during the summer months that things would escalate after her ex-boyfriend would go out with friends, drink, and then come home angry.

“The name calling got worse and I remember him holding my four month old daughter in his hand, while kneeing me in the face,” says Fichter.

The Lydia House shelters 72 women and more than 40 families year around. Watts says the increase may be a mix of hot weather, longer days, and more social activity.

“We know during those summer months when we hit those boiling temperatures and boiling points we see more coming in seeking assistance and seeking shelter,” says Watts.

But several experts stress that heat is just an aggravating factor in domestic violence and several other important factors can lead to domestic abuse.

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