Do Domestic Crimes Really Spike During the Holidays?
It seems to make sense that domestic crimes would spike over the holidays. Tensions may be up, stress can be high, and there may even be a bit more alcohol consumed than usual. The truth of the matter, though, is that the spike of domestic crimes during the holidays is something of a myth.
It’s important how we look at domestic abuse. Rather than isolated incidents that fluctuate, there is an underlying current of power and control that is present at all times. Stress and heightened emotions can certainly exacerbate domestic abuse, but a person who abuses another is not having a tantrum. They are making a deliberate effort to enact control over another.
How Abuse Data Is Gathered
Measuring trends in domestic abuse can be difficult. Abuse often takes place in privacy, making it difficult to estimate its rise and fall with regards to seasons and holidays. While an increase in abuse cannot be accurately measured, calls for help can be. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, people may be less likely to call for help during the holidays. In fact, for the past decade, the major autumn and winter holidays have seen a decline in calls for help when compared to any other day of the year.
The Domestic Violence Hotline says that it receives an average of 837 calls a day, as of 2015 data. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, that number was cut nearly in half. An administrator for a domestic violence shelter in New York says that they see the same. Fewer requests for help come in during the holidays.
Why the Drop-off?
Experts suggest that victims of abuse may feel a greater pressure to keep their families intact during the holidays which are typically seen as a time of celebration. Victims may feel guilty and try to stick it out for longer than they would otherwise. If the violence continues, it is not unusual for victims to reach out for help once the holidays have ended.
Workers at domestic violence shelters tell tales of children worrying about how Santa will find them if they aren’t home. It’s issues like this that may keep victims of domestic abuse in their homes for the holidays, only to seek help once they have ended. If you know a person who is being victimized, the holidays are a great time to step up and offer your assistance.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Atlanta, it is important to remember that in the court of law, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. There is a social stigma related to being accused of victimizing a loved one, even if a person is found to be not guilty of the crime. Let us help you. Our criminal defense team is here for you no matter the time of year, and we will use our knowledge and resources to mount a strong defense on your behalf. Call today for more information about how we can help you.