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    Do Domestic Violence Offenses Spike During the Holidays?

    Posted on: December 7th, 2020 by Dod Law

    The holidays can be overwhelming. From buying presents for everyone on your list to planning out the perfect holiday dinner, the stress can get to the best of us. Several factors can contribute to domestic violence incidents over the holidays, including financial stress, increased alcohol use, and unrealistic expectations. Due to COVID-19, this holiday season may cause more stress than past seasons.

    If you’re being accused of domestic violence, it may be in your best interest to immediately contact a California domestic violence attorney.

    Looking at the Number of Domestic Violence Cases During the Holidays

    There’s a long-running narrative that domestic violence cases increase during the holiday season. Every December, it’s common to see stories on the news or in the paper about how reports increase from Thanksgiving up to New Year’s. However, a study conducted by National Domestic Violence Hotline officials shows that the number of domestic violence calls doesn’t actually increase but rather decreases. Between 2004 and 2013, there were fewer reports the week of Thanksgiving than the week before and after. Thanksgiving Day reports are also down compared to average daily reports.

    The number of reports from mid-December to New Year’s Day was also lower than a 17-day average between 2004 and 2013. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day also showed fewer reports than average day reports.

    The main takeaway is that the number of domestic violence reports does not increase during the holidays. However, this should not give you a false sense of security. The season is still stressful for some and can trigger those with a disposition for violence.

    Other Risk Factors of Domestic Violence

    While statistics do not necessarily point to a spike in domestic violence cases during the holidays, 2020 has proven to be a unique and challenging year. From an ongoing pandemic to a record amount of hurricanes, there have been more stressors that may carry over into the holiday season.


    With rising infection rates, more restrictions in California, and the uncertainty of when most Americans will receive a vaccine, the pandemic is still keeping families in tight quarters. Situations can quickly escalate between domestic partners who are forced to share the same space for longer periods of time, which may provoke intimate partner violence.

    Natural Disasters

    There were 12 named storms –– six of which were hurricanes–– that hit the United States in 2020, while catastrophic fires raged across California for months. Many families and individuals face post-traumatic stress disorder from losing a home or a loved one. This increase in stress, depression, and anxiety can fuel the fire of a volatile relationship.

    Economic Issues

    With the ongoing pandemic, thousands of people lost their jobs. Because of the overactive hurricane season and devastating fires, even more lost their homes or suffered millions of dollars in damage. These financial hardships will most likely carry over into the holiday season, causing more stress than people have already experienced this year.

    How to Prevent Domestic Violence Situations

    Despite all the stress that comes with holidays on top of the stress from the pandemic, finances, and natural disasters, there are still ways you can prevent family tensions from rising.

    • Acknowledge and manage holiday stress before it becomes an issue
    • Lower your expectations for the season
    • Take steps to reduce or avoid high-stress situations
    • Seek professional help from therapists or marriage counselors

    The holidays should be a time for celebrating with family and friends. Don’t let stress overcome your emotions.

    Contact a Skilled California Criminal Defense Attorney

    If you’re facing domestic violence charges in California, you need skilled legal counsel to represent you and protect your rights. Attorney Dod of Dod Law is a top choice for domestic violence representation in the San Diego area. He has practiced law for over 17 years and is uniquely qualified by the California State Bar to handle serious capital offenses.

    Call (619) 814-5110 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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    Meet Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani

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