Philadelphia domestic violence helpline has seen 30% increase in callers seeking help

Experts are sounding the alarm on a troubling rise in domestic violence cases that they say worsen during the stress of the holiday season. 

Vashti Bledsoe, Deputy Executive Director at the Lutheran House in Philadelphia, says her organization has seen a 30% increase in people seeking help. 

"We're definitely seeing an increase in our hotline numbers of people calling," Bledsoe told FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson. 

The Lutheran House provides free services for survivors and their families, and offer a 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 1-866-723-3014.


The troubling statistics come weeks after a man, identified as Ahmad Shareef, allegedly decapitated a woman inside a Philadelphia home

Police say on Sunday night a man shot his wife to death before taking his own life at a house in West Oak Lane where three children also live. The children were not hurt.

"Fear is a real thing," Bledsoe said. "If you're living with somebody who is abusive and is threatening to kill you, and they've abused you so many times to the point that you almost thought you were going to die, you're going or believe that."

Bledsoe said it normally takes woman more than nine tries to leave their abuser before they stay away for good. Fear, finances and children are what keep most victims tethered to their abuser.

"It's very dangerous to leave a relationship, abuse heightens 70% when a survivor tries to leave so we do safety planning with survivors," Bledsoe said.