PUEBLO — With so many people at home because of the pandemic, it's led to other tragedies including an increase in domestic abuse.
It is more important now than ever to learn the signs, to make sure our friends and loved ones are safe.
Especially as the YWCA in Pueblo report their numbers, which have quadrupled during the pandemic.
"Helping victims with domestic violence is complex, it is multifaceted, it is difficult," said Ryan Yank, YWCA Pueblo Program Director.
While it can be a difficult conversation to bring up with our loved ones, "Sometimes people will shy away from helping because it is so heavy," it is important, says Yank.
"We all can play a role with helping and serving people in these difficult times," said Yank.
Now with the holiday's here, more gatherings will take place, and some people may see their loved ones for the first time in months.
There are signs to look out for when it comes to abuse.
"If you ask how Roger is, Jane is, and they kind of like maybe don't talk the same way as they usually would? You are going to look for some subtle differences." said Yank.
Anything from anxiousness, being overly sensitive, walking on eggshells, a little bit reserved, or hasn't been in touch in a while are all signs to be aware of.
It is important to keep that in mind for not only our friends and family, but also our co-workers.
"Their work productivity could be going way down. Maybe they are making more mistakes. Don't be afraid to reach out," said Yank.
It is not only important to pay attention to the victim's signs, but also the abusers.
"Try to find some common ground for those on the other side. We always focus on the victim, but those who who are struggling with their anger," said Yank.
For those who might not be able to see their loved ones this year, and could be turning to zoom? Experts say to always have an emergency signal, just in case that victim's abuser is right in the room with them.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hot-line at 1-800-799-7233