The days leading up to the holidays can be an even more difficult time than usual for those at risk of domestic abuse. Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales says that violence tends to swing upward before a holiday. She says national and local history shows that the pattern follows many holidays. Victims of domestic abuse will experience a cycle of tension-building after a calm period where things seem to be getting better, which is called the “honeymoon” phase before violence happens. She says COVID-19 stresses have impacted the reported numbers of domestic violence.
Gonzales states that holiday stress is not the reason for domestic violence but can be a contributing factor. Data from the National Domestic Violence hotline in recent years indicates that reported calls dropped by about 50 percent on Thanksgiving Day compared to the week prior to the holiday.