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Does Domestic Violence Increase Around the Holidays?

Posted by Joshua Wilson | Dec 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

With the financial stress of the holiday season, gloomy weather keeping people indoors, and drinking around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, it would seem like it can be a recipe for domestic violence. There is a common misconception that domestic violence peaks around the holidays in the U.S. However, the opposite tends to be true as domestic violence reports are lower than average during the winter holidays. 

If you have any questions about domestic violence charges, protection orders, or other family matters in Missouri, contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm for help.   

Domestic Violence Between Thanksgiving and New Years Day

According to a report from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, calls received between Thanksgiving until New Years Day averaged 570 calls per day from 2004 to 2013, which is well below the average call per day rate of 675 in 2013. This does not necessarily mean that abuse is lower over the winter holidays but that there tend to be fewer reports. 

Even though the holidays can be stressful, even resulting in fights over money or family, many couples try to keep things together over the holidays, especially when children are involved. The holidays often involve extended family coming together, and abuse victims and abusers may try and present a picture of a happy couple even if there has been violence or abuse at home. 

The Magic of the Holidays

The feeling of the holidays can make people feel hopeful and happy and look for the feeling of togetherness. Even with a couple who has been having fights and thinking of splitting up, the festive feeling of the winter holidays can make people try and reconcile any disputes. However, the good times may only last a short time and when the holidays are over, the couple may return to the realization that there are irreconcilable differences that cannot be resolved.  

New Years Day and Beyond

There may actually be an increase in reports of domestic violence on New Years Day and beyond. When the holidays are over, and life gets back to “normal,” a couple in an abusive relationship may resume the abuse. 

Domestic Violence and Divorce

Leaving a relationship can be a dangerous time for a spouse or parent who has experienced domestic violence. Many people use the new year as a focus on making changes in their life. This could include stopping smoking or going to the gym. Others may decide that a new year is a time to finally end an abusive relationship and seek a divorce. 

If you are thinking about filing for divorce after dealing with an abusive relationship, talk to your family law attorney to develop a plan to file for divorce and help you obtain a court order to prevent an abusive partner from contacting you or your family. 

Experienced Missouri Family Law Attorney

If you have experienced domestic abuse or threats of violence, developing a plan to leave the relationship can help keep you and your children safe. Cass County family lawyer Joshua Wilson has years of experience in domestic violence and divorce in Missouri. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today at (816) 331-9968 for a consultation.

About the Author

Joshua Wilson

Divorce is complex and highly emotional. Everything is going to change, including your most important personal relationships, your finances, your daily routine, and -- of course -- your home life. This can be a stressful time, and the parties involved often are not thinking clearly. You need some...


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