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Divorce To Escape Holiday Violence


What comes to mind when you think of the holidays?  Good food, the laughter of children, time with friends and family?  Twinkling lights, the hustle and bustle of shopping, and magical story hours for the kids?  Unfortunately, not everyone looks forward to joyous times, though.  That’s because for them, the holidays bring out the worst in an abusive spouse.  The tragic reality is that some people face the threat of domestic violence all year long, and it only gets worse during this season of joy and celebration.

Violence Continues 

Sadly, when family violence is a pattern, it almost certainly does not wane during the holidays.  Some studies, in fact, point to a rise in domestic violence from Thanksgiving through Superbowl Sunday.  For all families, pressures can increase during the holidays, and that is often the stimulus for violence when it has occurred in the past.

Why Violence May Increase During the Holidays 

Throughout the holiday season, multiple factors unite that can dial up the tension and fear for families:

1-    Visits and parties with family and friends can actually be stressful.  Those holiday gatherings, with all the commotion and high expectations, can overwhelm.

2-    Money issues can become painful during the holidays, especially for breadwinners who recognize that they cannot provide the kind of celebration they’d like for their families. It can be ego-crushing to have to live with the fact that you can’t delight your children the way you’d like.

3-    Putting on a happy face for the sake of the family when you’re miserable underneath can be grueling. During the holidays more than at any other time of year, people feel they need to display joy and contentment– even if it’s a facade.

4-    Overcrowding everywhere, from the roadways to malls and shops, can be infuriating. Exasperated shoppers bring out the worst in others, and make simple errands nerve-wracking.

5-    Alcohol:  Because the consumption of alcohol is often a factor in violence, attending parties can be a real stress point.

You Need a  Safety Plan 

For anyone in an abusive relationship, it is important to have a safety plan in case things get dangerous.

1-    Communicate with family or friends truthfully about your situation and concerns. Create a code word that you share with trusted individuals that indicates that you’re in trouble so you can alert them to get help when you need it.

2-    Try to rearrange the circumstances that may aggravate the tension for your abusive spouse.  That could mean fewer or smaller gatherings or working with others to provide alcohol-free parties.  Make the changes you can based on what will help your situation.

3-    If violence does erupt, reach out.  There are local support organizations that are open 24-7 every day of the year.

When You’re Ready to Call it Quits 

If you are ready to get out of your abusive marriage, it doesn’t matter if it’s the holiday season or not.  Our compassionate, experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman are prepared to intervene with restraining orders and other legal tools to help you stay safe as you negotiate the terms of a divorce.  Contact our office today for reliable, kind assistance.

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