The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. People spend significant amounts of money on gifts for their relatives and prepare for elaborate holiday events. Unfortunately, the holidays are not ideal for all families, as many suffer from domestic violence almost every day, even on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, some 10 million children in the United States are witnesses to domestic violence between their parents or guardians each year. Parents often believe that children are not affected by domestic violence occurring within the home, but that assumption could not be more false. Even if a child does not witness the abuse in person, simply living in an abusive environment can be harmful. In fact, domestic violence within a home can affect children in many negative ways. Children living around abuse are more likely to be abused themselves, become abusers later in life, and may suffer from many other emotional and behavioral problems.
Some divorces and domestic splits become violent and threatening, with one spouse or partner placing the other in fear of physical harm to him- or herself or some other person. Sometimes the abuser will threaten harm to him- or herself. All of this behavior is, at its core, an attempt to assert power and control over a person or process the abuser feels he or she no longer has control over. Domestic violence and abuse can traumatize the victim, interfering with his or her daily life and any work-related and/or parental duties he or she might have. It can also negatively affect children and is even thought to cause health problems in pets.