For most of us, this bright and merry holiday season is a time of celebrating, catching up with friends and family, gift giving and laughing, but it can also be a time of stress and worry. Finances are stretched to buy gifts or to travel to see family members. Seeing family members we don’t always get along with may push us over the edge. Alcohol tends to flow freely at Christmas parties, where we overindulge because hey, the holidays only come once a year right? Sometimes our expectations of what should happen compared to what actually happens can give us the holiday blues.
Combine all of those factors with an already explosive relationship and the result is an increase of domestic violence at a time that should be filled with joy and peace.
The poor health of the economy has affected us all; bills are piling up, there are not enough jobs to go around, and the need to meet such high expectations around this season can be suffocating. In many cases, there isn’t much control a man might have over those things. When things go wrong for most men, they don’t take out their frustrations by going home and beating their wives. But for others who are aggravated and need to grab control to feel powerful, they will go home and use violence to control their families.
Too often, especially around the holidays, alcohol is cited as the main reason for a physical act of aggression. “Honey, I was drunk. I didn’t know what I was doing”. “I was blacked out… I had no idea what was going on”. There is no excuse for abuse, not even having a cocktail too many. Domestic violence is about power and control and while alcohol may play a part, it doesn’t ultimately cause partner abuse. With alcohol in the mix, inhibitions are loosened for those predisposed to abuse because of a desire to control. Yelling can become slapping, slapping can become punching, and for too many, punching can become deadly.
There is never an excuse for abuse, not even the stress that accompanies the holidays… If you or someone you know is in danger, don’t hesitate to call our 24 hour crisis hotline at 408-279-2962.
From all of us at Next Door, we wish you all a safe and peaceful holiday and upcoming New Year.