For victims suffering from domestic violence Christmas often is experienced as the most horrible time of the year. Perceived to be a celebration of love, family, contemplative being together with friends and relatives may change into the worst time of the year. The Christmas holidays concentrate on families and the core values of partnership, care and appreciation of one’s relationship. But this “reduction to the core” often causes an outbreak of violence. One small incident may trigger a violent disaster: a broken lamp in the Christmas lights, a forgotten gift or cold red wine at Christmas dinner: persons who are victims of domestic violence or violence within their partnership are twice as likely abused over the holidays than during the rest of the year. And with Christmas being the holidays of families: what happens within the family stays within the family! Thus these “festive days of silence and contemplation” turn into day of silent suffering for many victims of domestic violence.
After the Christmas holidays victims have little time to “catch their breath”. The turn of the year with New Year’s Eve and the abusive consumption of alcohol and binge drinking lead to even more violence, which – under the influence of alcohol and the associated loss of control of the perpetrators – can be even more cruel than DV experienced during the so-called “holidays”.
In 2013, violence-emergency-phones, the children’s phone hotline, the railway mission, crisis intervention centers and outpatient services will again receive thousands of “cries for help” from women and children.