The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and celebration, as we spend time with family and friends and take a break from our daily lives.
Unfortunately, sometimes incidents of domestic violence increase over the holiday season. This problem is not unique to West Virginia.
Why domestic violence increases over the holiday season
There are various reasons for the increase in domestic violence at this time of the year. People are more stressed, for financial or other reasons and schedules are usually hectic.
Additionally, many holiday gatherings involve alcohol, which often triggers domestic violence.
Domestic violence does not just increase during the holiday season. There have been higher reports of domestic violence during difficult periods in history or even after major sporting events.
An interesting theory is that it is not the events themselves that cause domestic abusers to engage in violent behavior, but rather, the abusers can blame the events on their actions.
Why people may not leave
Whatever the reasons, no one should ever be a victim of domestic violence. You may feel that everything will get better once the holidays are over and think that you can tough it out.
If you have children with your abuser, you might not want to remove them from their home over the holidays. However, one holiday away from home is likely to do less long-term damage than being in the same household as an abuser.
You can protect yourself and your children from domestic violence by filing a family protective order with a West Virginia court.
A protective order can forbid your abuser from coming to where you are or having any form of contact with you. You will first be granted a temporary protective order and then have a hearing to determine if it should be made a final order for a longer period.
Getting away from an abuser is never easy, especially when you are trying to navigate the complex legal system along the way. An attorney can be a compassionate advocate and guide for you through the process.