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Avoid Domestic Violence Over the Holidays

Avoid Domestic Violence Over the HolidaysAn expert warns that although the holidays are supposed to be a time for family bonding and merriment, for many women and children, they are instead a time of fear and violence.

David Schneider, M.D., chair of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University, remarks that the additional stress of the holidays, combined with increased alcohol consumption can cause a tipping point for domestic violence.

“There’s a lot of stress associated with the holidays, from pressure to provide for the family and money issues to spending more time with distant family. Domestic violence often revolves around high stress times,” said Schneider, who is nationally recognized for his work with the Academy on Violence and Abuse.

“Additionally, people tend to drink more alcohol around the holidays, and about half of all domestic violence occurs when either the perpetrator or victim is under the influence of alcohol.”

While men can be the victims of domestic violence, in the vast majority of domestic disputes women are the victims, Schneider says. Too often, women do not realize how serious the issue is until it becomes very dangerous or even fatal.

“When a partner is threatening suicide or there are guns in house — these are very dangerous situations. If you find yourself in one of these situations you need to find a way out,” Schneider said.

Schneider says it’s important that family members be aware of signs of abuse. Bruises, cuts and broken bones are the most obvious signs, but not the most common.

Schneider recommends being on the lookout for people who frequently skip family gatherings and provide excuses and stories that just don’t add up. Low self esteem, fear of conflict and excessive self blame are other red flags.

If you suspect that a family member or friend is the victim of domestic violence, Schneider says the most important thing you can do is offer support and encouragement.

“The most important thing you can do is let her know she’s not alone and there’s a way out. Help her find a local battered woman’s shelter, get a restraining order or arrange transportation,” Schneider said.

Source: Saint Louis University Medical Center

Avoid Domestic Violence Over the Holidays

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Avoid Domestic Violence Over the Holidays. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 15, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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