The Dark Side of the Holidays: Why Domestic Violence Increases around Christmas Time
For many people, the holidays are a time for joy, family, and good cheer. But for others, the holiday season is a time of stress, financial strain, and yes, unfortunately, domestic violence. Though it may seem counterintuitive, studies have shown that there is in fact a correlation between the two. So why does domestic violence increase around the holiday season? Let's take a closer look.
One reason why domestic violence may increase during the holidays is due to the stress that comes with the added pressure of buying gifts, attending parties, and hosting family gatherings. According to a study done by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 65% of survivors said that financial issues were a factor in their abusive relationship. From trying to afford presents to splitting the cost of travel plans, money can be a major source of stress for couples during the holidays. And when couples are already struggling financially, that stress can quickly turn into an explosive situation.
Another reason why domestic violence rates go up during Christmas time is that alcohol consumption increases. According to some studies conducted they found that alcohol was involved in 37% of intimate partner violence incidents that occurred on Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. When you add alcohol into the mix, people are more likely to say and do things they wouldn't normally say or do when they're sober. That's why it's important for couples to be aware of how much they're drinking during the holiday season and to keep an eye out for warning signs that things could escalate.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of love and happiness but for some people, it's anything but. For those who are struggling with financial stress or are in abusive relationships, Christmas time can be downright dangerous. If you or someone you know is in a difficult situation this holiday season, please reach out for help. There are plenty of resources available—you are not alone.