No Respite for Domestic Violence Victims at Christmas Time.

In 1963, Andy Williams’ song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” was released.  Can you imagine walking through shopping malls at Christmas time, hearing this and other jolly tunes filling the space, when you know that this is most definitely not the most wonderful time of the year?

For women in abusive relationships, there is additional stress. They are burdened with the task of having to act as though they are living a “normal” life.  They do this for the sake of their young children; wanting their children to not miss out on the joy, excitement and “magic” of Christmas that other little children are experiencing.  And below, I’ll explain the other reason for this acting.

Some people believe that there is a rise in the amount of domestic violence over the holidays.  Whilst it is true that increased alcohol consumption could fuel tempers, “ … data available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) shows a decline in the number of calls received during the holidays, including on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day”.  Source:  Retrieved 12/19/19.  This makes sense to me.

Domestic Violence is primarily a “Behind closed doors” phenomenon.  Holidays are typically times when extended family are around. Victims are expected by their abusive partners to put on a show that presents a picture of a loving, supportive relationship and family unit.  If she were to be witnessed by him, revealing any sort of indication to her family, (from which he usually isolates her), that he is anything less than the perfect partner or father, she would pay the price later once alone with him and out of earshot of potential protectors.  She knows this. She has been threatened. And from experience, she knows that his threats are carried out.

Decrease or increase in Domestic Violence reporting at Christmas time, for women who are in an abusive relationship, there is no one time of year that is exempt from the possibility of being abused.  “Incidents don’t happen on particular days, the abuser and victim are always somewhere in the pattern of abuse.” Source:  Retrieved 12/19/19.

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