Do abuse rates rise during the holidays? Statistics are contradictory but when you look at the big picture it seems as if evidence and common sense point to “yes”. According to statistics compiled by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the average number of daily calls in 2014 were 675. On Thanksgiving there were 503 calls, 381 on Christmas day, and 570 on New Year’s Day. The Hotline statistics also show that domestic violent crimes occur more often at night, on weekends and during the summer. In short, rates rise when there is more time spent between the abuser and the victim. The relationship between domestic abuse and the holidays is similar with the relationship between suicide and the holidays. Suicide rates are not the highest over the holidays. The highest rates of suicide are in spring. Experts believe that there may be a feeling of hope and love that comes with the holidays. Also, family is in closer proximity over the holidays, typically. Suicidal thoughts and feelings are still present, but they are acted upon less. People are less likely to want to hurt their family with a suicide when they are spending time with them in holiday activities. Domestic violence is still occurring, but the feelings of hope, and love, and a desperate need for happiness prevail over reporting. A victim of domestic abuse is less likely to want to pack up the kids and disrupt the children’s lives over holidays. There is more of a desire in the victim over the holidays to present a “happy family” image to their loved ones. However, once the holidays are gone and normalcy returns, and the festivities are over, victims are faced with the realities and depressive fallout from the holidays and they reach out for help. Boosting the number to call centers and shelters.
Considering that a women is abused every nine seconds in America is awful enough without questioning whether rates rise on the holidays. But the reality of the matter is the holidays present a very dangerous recipe for disaster.
1. More time spent together.
2. More money being spent on gifts and food prompts arguments over money.
3. More alcohol being consumed. Alcohol brings nothing good to the situation. It lowers inhibitions, increases anxiety and depression, and leaves the consumer feeling ill the next day.
4. More family and friends around to compete for attention with the abuser. An abuser wants to be the number one focus of their partner. An abuser wants his needs met above and beyond anyone else’s. Also, the socializing provides more opportunity for the victim to say and do things that the abuser will find “humiliating” to him. These damages to his ego increase violence.
The loss of control that an abuser is presented with over the holidays increases his need to act out and take control back. This will result in abuse. Whether it’s verbal, emotional, financial, spiritual, or physical doesn’t matter. If you need help reach out as soon as you can. You can call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They can help you locate resources in your area. Also, DomesticShelters.org is an invaluable resource to help you develop a plan to deal with your situation. Everyone deserves a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.