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Domestic violence escalates around the holidays

For many families, the holidays are less than convivial gatherings because of traumatic episodes marred by domestic violence. When extended families gather together, emotions can run high, especially when alcohol is consumed. This can lead to explosive violence against intimate partners as a result of the frustration.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Violence Prevention includes four distinct categories of intimate partner violence:

-- Physical

-- Psychological

-- Sexual

-- Stalking

While not all abusers will inflict all four types of IPV on their victims, some or all can happen simultaneously.

Those who have already experienced abuse from their partners may dread this upcoming Thanksgiving and its accompanying stressors. They may anticipate having to walk on eggshells around their partners to avoid doing the slightest thing that could potentially set off the fuse. They might instruct their children to avoid angering their other parent, thus inciting fear and worry in their young and impressionable minds.

One might surmise that, consequently, there would be a corresponding peak in calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline over the holidays. However, statistics do not bear this out, as the victims often refrain from notifying anyone of their abuse in order to avoid disrupting the holiday festivities.

However, that level of dysfunction cannot be sustained for long without terrible consequences. If you find yourself in an untenable position, know that there is help out there when you are ready to make a change.

You can decide that this will be the last Thanksgiving where you will ever allow someone to abuse or intimidate you. Your family law attorney can file for a restraining order to help protect you in the future.

Source: WEWS, "Intimate Partner Violence and the holiday season," Danita Harris, accessed Nov. 17, 2016

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