New Year’s Eve always seems to hold special promise for most of us. There’s a sense of anticipation and excitement regarding what the next year might bring. Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve is also one of the most dangerous nights of the year for women; both in the United States and worldwide. The number of calls to domestic abuse hotlines usually increases as the evening progresses, and we’ll never know about all the women who don’t call or don’t reach out to their neighbors or family members due to fear or misplaced embarrassment.
So, as you celebrate with friends, I encourage you to watch what’s happening around you and listen for unusual noises in your neighborhood or apartment building. Do you hear someone crying for help? When you get in an elevator, does the woman next to you have bruises? Does she appear to be purposely covering her face?
If you suspect something, please do something. Do not try to come between a victim and her abuser. Do not attempt to calm a drunken spouse or partner. Call 911.
Most cities are expecting to receive these calls on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Offer that woman in the elevator a chance to use your phone to call for help or help her flag down a cab so she can leave the area immediately.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing abuse – of any kind – you’ll find a number of Resources on our site, including the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (1.800.799.7233) and the Crisis Text Hotline (741741). They’re free, confidential and readily available.
Be careful. Be safe. And be confident knowing that we’re listening. Let’s all do our part to ensure a truly happy New Year.