More Domestic Violence During The Holidays? It’s A Myth


The tensions in big family gatherings have been mined for laughs and darker emotions in TV sitcoms and Hollywood movies, says the Wisconsin State Journal, but Madison police data over the past five years shows no rise in domestic violence calls over the winter holidays. November and December rank lower than seven other months for domestic violence calls. Says Shannon Barry of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services: “there ‘s a lot of mythology about domestic violence escalating around the holidays or during the Super Bowl, and we ‘ve never found that to be the case.”

Darald Hanusa, a psychotherapist with the Midwest Domestic Violence Resource Center in Madison, said factors that lead people to choose violence are primarily internal ones, as opposed to such things as stress or alcohol consumption. “We ‘ve found that holidays are not necessarily a predictor of domestic violence,” he said. “When you study domestic violence, what you really come to see is that it ‘s not about the time of year or an external factor at all. It ‘s an individual choice to use violence to control relationships. ”


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