Holiday stresses that bring on domestic violence

Holiday stresses that bring on domestic violence

On behalf of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty, Attorneys at Law posted in Domestic Violence on Thursday, December 14, 2017.

The holiday season is many people’s favorite time of year. For too many, however, the stress of what often feels like forced interaction with family members, coupled with the strain of air or car travel is too much. Add in the increased access to alcohol at office, social and family gatherings, and it’s not hard to understand why experts say that domestic violence increases at this time of year.

The executive director of one agency dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence, and a survivor herself, says that while drinking alone doesn’t cause a person to become violent, it can worsen an already high-conflict situation. Other factors exacerbate tensions between couples, she notes, include the expenses associated with the holidays and the stress of entertaining, whether it’s throwing a party or having a houseful of relatives.

Some law enforcement agencies and domestic violence organizations sometimes see an increase in reports of domestic violence over the holidays. However, many victims feel pressure to stay with their abusive spouse or partner during this period.
As the head of another domestic violence organization says, victims “don’t want to disrupt children’s lives. Children are out of school. They want to at least uphold a charade of harmony and peace.” She says that her organization sees an increase in people seeking help in January, after the holidays.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, or you know someone who is, it’s essential to be aware that there are resources available to provide help and safety. There are also legal steps you can take to get a restraining order to prohibit or limit contact by the abuser with the victim and other family members who may be in danger. A Massachusetts attorney can provide important guidance and help.

Source: KHON 2, “Conflicts often heighten for domestic violence victims during the holidays,” Jenn Boneza, accessed Dec. 14, 2017