Family Resource Centre’s Charmaine Miller says the stresses of the holidays can lead to abusive behavior
“There is also an increase of consumption of alcohol, right, so that could be used as an excuse often times used by perpetrators to become or engage in violent behaviour while they are under the influence,” said Acting Programmes Coordinator of the Family Resource Center, Charmaine Miller.
As Christmas parties and socials are frequent in everyone’s events calendars, having a few drinks in the festive season becomes normal.
“However, alcohol is not an excuse for domestic abuse, right, it’s not a reason or a rational to why it should be taken place, unfortunately perpetrators do tend to use that as an excuse,” said Mrs Miller.
Consequences to the family are not forgotten.
She continued, “and that tends to be a reason as to why it makes it even harder for victims to leave abusive relationships, especially during this time they were in abusive relationships, they try to work extra hard to make sure their family stays in tact for this period of time.”
Mrs Miller believes that families are putting up a façade, hiding the emotional and physical violence as everyone is more social during the holiday season
“Knowing that in reality, they might be walking on egg shells and something might trigger a violent incident is not very healthy for children to be exposed to that.” said Mrs Miller.
For the family resource unit, they are getting calls asking for advise and direction.
“You know, a counselling perspective, wanting to access counselling from a legal perspective, knowing okay, if I’m in a violent relationship, what can I do to protect myself, legally as well as my children,” said Mrs Miller.