Huge Surge In Domestic Abuse At Christmas
For most people and families, the Christmas period is a time of joy, blessings and immense fun. We can enjoy a well-earned break from work, spend some time with our families and loved ones, and over-indulge in treats, drink and fine food. We can enjoy movies and TV series such as Jurassic Park and The Royle Family, listen to the Queen’s speech and create lasting fond memories – sounds perfect doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone, and the Christmas period is actually a time that many people come to dread and fear. Historically, the Christmas period is the one that sees an increase in domestic abuse. Last year we reported that we serve, on average, 30% more Non-Molestation orders in January than any other time of the year. Many families and relationships can be torn apart at this supposed joyous time of the year and individuals of all ages can find themselves in extremely distressing and dangerous situations. There is something about Christmas and the winter months that appears to bring both the best and worst out in people – some people thrive during this time of the year, whilst others descend into a mire of violence and abuse and simply cannot cope.
Domestic abuse or violence is a crime and should be reported to the police – there are also other organisations who can offer you help and support.
Call 999 if it’s an emergency or you’re in immediate danger.
The police take domestic violence seriously and will be able to help and protect you.
Contact your local neighbourhood policing team if it’s not an emergency.
What is it about the festive season that causes some people to turn to violent behaviour towards their families and spouse?
Christmas Surge in Domestic Abuse
For most people Christmas is a fantastic time of the year – who doesn’t love sitting around the dining table, tucking into some turkey and wearing a silly paper hat pulled from a bargain cracker? Despite all the mirth and merriment, the following list denotes some reasons as to why Christmas time is, unfortunately, a time rife with domestic abuse:
– Increased stress
– Increased financial pressures
– Excess intake of alcohol
– Disastrous Christmas parties
– Family problems become compounded
– Stuck in close confines
How does the above then translate into an increase in domestic abuse? When you consider the pointers the picture becomes clearer. Parents feel under pressure to please their children and each other; this results in an increased stress level and disagreements. Many people over-indulge in alcohol and spend much of the Christmas period in a drunken stupor, which can lead to uncontrollable behaviour, irritability, anxiety and anger.
Excess Alcohol and Confinement
Company Christmas parties can, in some cases, also lead to alcohol excess and even adulterous behaviour. Existing problems within a family can become compounded and magnified – the smallest of problems can seem like an unsurpassable mountain and result in huge arguments, often resulting in emotional or physical abuse. Furthermore, family members are often confined to the house for long periods of time, which can result in restlessness, anxiety and general unease.
The Christmas and New Year period is also the catalyst for a surge in divorce applications. Why? Our moods are often dampened due to the cold temperatures, miserable weather and onset of weariness and financial struggles at the end of a long year. Statistically, January is the most prevalent month for divorces, with December and February also ranking high. When considering all these factors together, it becomes clearer to see why Christmas can be a time of pain and suffering for those unfortunate enough to experience domestic abuse.