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Domestic violence advocates say holidays are tough on families

Domestic violence advocates say holidays are tough on families



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WEST JORDAN -- Psychiatrists say there are more murder-suicides and familial homicides during the holidays because of depression, financial stress and other pressures.

West Jordan police say the father who killed his family then himself was distraught over being separated from them. Advocates say women are most likely to be killed while trying to leave or after leaving a relationship.

"Safety is such a critical issue," said Asha Parekh the director of the Salt Lake area Family Justice Center. "(We are) just encouraging people to look at how they can be safer, to make safe choices, to call hotlines, to figure out a safety plan for themselves and their families."

She says the holidays can bring more stresses and pressures to families with, "The pressure of being a happy family and putting that image out there."

Separated families also face pressure. But Parekh says they don't have to do it alone. There is so much help available out there by calling hotlines like the YWCA at 801-537-8600, the National Domestic Violence line at 800-799-SAFE (7233), or the Utah Domestic Violence Link line at 800-897-LINK (5465).

"And even if you're not the person who is in the situation, you can still call the hotlines to find out how you can help your friend or neighbor," said Perekh.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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