Domestic Violence During The Holidays
Some say the holidays are the best time of year. All of the gift giving, socializing with friends and family, the foods, the festivities, seeing our children’s eyes light up in joy, the decorating, our own expectations… it all brings an air of mystery and fun.
Of course along with this comes all of the pressures for everything to be just right – financial pressure, getting the right gift pressure, serving the right foods and drink pressure, saying the right things pressure – shall I go on? Because as much as it can be the best time of year, it can also be the most stressful. And for victims of domestic violence (also known as Intimate Partner Abuse), it can be a terrifying time of year.
The heightened financial pressures many people face during this time of year in addition to the increase in alcohol consumption paired with balancing time and family members can be a recipe for pain to a domestic violence victim. It is easy to draw the conclusion that domestic violence incidents increase during the holiday time, but is that statistically true?
Domestic Violence During The Holidays Stats
Sadly, still to this day, the majority of domestic violence incidents go unreported. So all domestic violence statics are a bit.. hinky if you know what I mean because of all of the unreported victims out there. However, NRCDV reports that calls for help are actually lower during this time of year.
Why Domestic Violence During The Holidays?
Honestly, this makes sense to me. It is not ok, but it makes sense to me. Remember those expectations I mentioned earlier? Yes, I was victim to that for many years. So I get it.
We all have an idea in our minds as to what we want our holiday season to look like. Getting everything on our children’s wish list, hosting the parties with everyone smiling and happy, serving the most perfect food and everyone just getting along happily, celebrating. And we try hard to make it happen.
We paint red flags green so that it can happen. When our abuser gets angry, we justify it with well they were stressed out, or drinking, or we just want the kids to be happy and they ‘didn’t see it’ so we can pretend it never happened and just take the pain. It is better for us to hurt than our children, right? I don’t want to ruin their holiday (even though we are the victim, we still think we are the ones ruining things) so no one needs to know, right?
With this mentality, it makes sense that less calls for help are made, because we painted our red flags so quickly and we believe our abuser will get better because we want to. It is the holiday season after all, when miracles happen.
WRONG!!!! Domestic Violence is hurting our children, even if you think they don’t know. It is NOT ok to have to take this kind of abuse, whether physical or emotional. And the miracle happens when we finally realize this and can get out.
Even though the stats say that domestic violence calls go down during the holidays, I believe that domestic violence incidents go up and are more likely to NOT be reported during this time – to preserve the peace and magic of the holidays for the victim. But is that what really happens?
So how can we help domestic violence during the holidays?
Talk about it, be aware, raise awareness. Don’t be afraid to talk about domestic violence. NCRDV published a great toolbox for domestic violence for holidays. You can find it here. Share the information, talk about it (note I have repeated this several times – here is one more Talk About IT!!), get involved however you are comfortable. Know you are not alone, there is a whole force of people out there ready to help, who have been through it, who are caring loving individuals, who can guide you.
If you or someone you know is being hurt, please reach out for help. If it is someone you know, read my post on 10 ways to support a domestic violence victim, reach out to the person you are worried about, open the door with love and compassion and be ready to just listen and believe.
If you are being hurt, please, you are not alone. Reach out. Message me on facebook or Instagram or email, tweet me, call the NCRDV hotline and they will direct you to local help. Whatever you feel comfortable doing, do it. There is help, there is a better way, there is a light for you to be shining in.
Talking about domestic violence, coming together and taking a stand is how we all find our way to a peaceful place where we can live without fear.
Together, we can do it.
Malibu Mama Loves Xx