URBANA, Ill., (WCIA) — Holidays are typically a time for joy and happiness, but that’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes, they can lead to dangerous situations. 

Osajuli Cravens, director of development and engagement at Courage Connection, said being around family members, being tight on money, or seeing people with hostile personalities can all lead to domestic violence. 

It’s not necessarily an increase in violence itself this time of year, but an increase in people speaking up. 

She said this form of abuse is all about power and control. 

 “An abuser can use tactics like isolation to keep people away from their family. If there’s financial stress they can use that as kind of a platform to put more control over someone else,” Cravens said. 

Even if you’re in a healthy relationship, Cravens said you should remember to look out for friends and other family members. 

“If you have a family member that’s going through it and they’re usually very joyful and happy during the holidays, depression can be something that you want to look out for,” Cravens added. “Or if they’re not attending events, or if they’re keeping themselves away maybe because they don’t want you to see the signs, that is something you want to pay attention to.” 

She said it can be hard to know if you’re in a dangerous situation sometimes. But, if someone is controlling you or keeping you away from your loved ones, it could be a sign of something more. 

If you need help, resources are available 24/7 on Courage Connection’s website, or you can call their 24-hour hotline at 217-384-4390.