Monday, November 26, 2007

A Sad Part of Holidays: Increased Domestic Violence

I enjoy the festive spirit this time of year. However, domestic violence is an ugly and secretive part of the holidays. Domestic violence significantly increases during major holidays. We can’t always control others, but we always can control the decisions and actions that we take.

During the holiday season, we can all stress about money. We can feel bombarded with unrealistic expectations. Guilt, depression, anger, fatigue, and alcohol are the real Grinch-factors of the holiday season. Triggers to domestic violence can be controlled with a few healthy strategies. Domestic violence never occurs in a vacuum. Few issues affect a family as much as domestic violence, and the negative effects of such violence are incalculable, especially among women and children. All of us have the responsibility to do all we can to prevent domestic violence.

Here are tips to help:

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is the most significant contributor to domestic violence. If alcohol might be a contributing factor don’t risk consuming it or being around those who do.

Avoid people who contribute to negative interactions. Hang with those who support you and are positive in interactions with you.

Remind yourself that irascible family members will not have changed from the last time you have been with them. Limit your exposure to them. Consider a specific exit plan of how you might handle the provocative relative who gets your goat.

Keep control with your own emotions. Take an emotional-time-out when you feel stress build. Form and activate a specific exit strategy when you begin to feel tired, overly-stressed, and notice negative feelings and anger building.

Remind yourself that the stress of the holidays won’t last forever. Keep YOUR sanity alive and well, regardless of what seems to be going on around you.

Know that domestic violence has devastating effect on you, and those you love. Keep reminding yourself of the real reason behind the holiday season and family activities. Domestic violence is preventable.

Please share your helpful tips on this important topic.

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