Domestic violence, in general is something that never is to be taken lightly, something that usually never is predictable, and something that will never go away. It is a vicious cycle and through many studies presents itself in many households around the world. It affects about one in three households and also can tend to worsen during certain time periods. Holiday seasons, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the time periods during this vicious cycle, where domestic violence occurs more frequently. Physical and mental abuse are both considered different types of domestic violence in the household.
Alcohol and drugs during the holidays
One of the reasons that domestic violence occurs more frequent during the holiday season is because there is usually much more alcohol or drug consumption. Abusers are usually surrounded by drugs and alcohol at parties, family events, work outings, or other special events. Unfortunately, for victims, these special events for the abuser can turn out to be a nightmare for the victims. Alcohol, especially, is a well known trigger or factor that contributes to domestic violence in many households. In no way is the usage of alcohol or drugs an excuse to why someone would abuse another individual, but it is a contributing factor. Because these influences are around more during the holiday seasons, domestic violence which can sometimes go hand in hand, increases.
Money issues during the holidays
Whether there is abuse in a household, or not, many arguments amongst couples are the result of money issues. Late bills, not enough money for extras, or too much spending in a household is often the main problem in failing relationships. With today’s economy, especially, domestic violence is on the rise, in general. During the holiday seasons, another reason there is a huge increase in violence is because of money. Holidays usually are a time when people are spending money on gifts. Especially when buying gifts for children are involved, many families find themselves up to their ears in debt or not able to afford toys for their children. Tension builds from guilt and frustration, and for those in violent situations, it triggers more physical and mental anger. Again, any type of violent behavior does not deserve an excuse. There are merely certain triggers that can make certain time periods worse than others. It just so happens that holidays and money have a tight relationship, which can help destruct other types of relationships (domestic relationships).
In conclusion, as a former battered woman’s shelter employee, I have seen first hand how during the holiday seasons many families fill the safe houses for protection. Although I would love to say that during the holidays there was always an empty house, it seemed to be an over packed house, instead. Many women and children claimed that during the holidays, the domestic violence seemed to increase because of fights related to alcohol, drugs, and money. During what should be considered the most peaceful time of the year, sadly, is the hardest for many families who are victims of domestic violence.