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Does domestic violence increase over the holidays?

Contrary to popular myths, domestic violence does not actually increase over the holiday season. According to 10 years of findings from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), the number of domestic violence calls significantly decreases over the holidays.

For instance, the NDVH received an average of 835 domestic violence calls per day in 2015. However, there was an average of 490 calls between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Overall, the hotline received 12 percent fewer calls a day during the holiday season than the rest of the year.

People assume that domestic violence increases over the holidays for a variety of reasons, including:

  • More time at home
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Financial stress
  • Family tension

However, statistics show these factors do not increase domestic violence around the holidays. Researchers suggest abusers might tend to be on their best behavior during family gatherings, and victims might be more likely to keep the peace for their families over the holiday season.

How to recognize signs of abuse

While domestic violence might not spike around the holidays, an abuser will continue to show signs of control over a victim. As you attend holiday gatherings and parties this year, keep an eye out for friends and family that might be victims of domestic violence. Common signs to look for in an abusive partner might include:

  • Insulting or putting partner down
  • Dominating conversation or talking for partner
  • Not allowing partner to have private conversations with anyone
  • Seeming jealous or angry anytime partner talks to another person
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs

Additionally, if you notice your family member or friend making excuses for a partner, wearing baggy clothes that could cover up bruises or seeming withdrawn or afraid, he or she might be a victim of domestic violence.

If you or someone you know are a victim of domestic violence, reach out to a domestic violence hotline today.

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