The holidays can be a stressful time. Wallets feel thinner, the weather gets colder, and you have to entertain or travel more than normal. All of this stress can feel overwhelming. Flipping on the news to hear stressful statistics doesn’t help either.
Every year, it seems like the news talks about how the holidays bring out the worst in domestic abusers. They warn that domestic violence spikes during the holidays, linking end-of-year stress and increased partying to more incidents.
News reports might even show interviews with law enforcement officers who vow to crack down on domestic violence throughout the area.
The problem is these stories don’t necessarily paint an accurate picture. Still, the myth of high rates of DV during the holidays could lead to false accusations and even false convictions. Know the facts and know what to do if you are accused of domestic violence.
Statistics Don’t Reflect Spikes in Holiday Domestic Violence
While one small set of data could be manipulated to show an increase in a specific type of domestic violence incident during the holiday season, plenty of others don’t.
In fact, the sets of data supporting these stories aren’t always accurate or big enough to come to any conclusion at all.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has said that there is no reliable study that shows an increase in domestic violence throughout the country.
Other studies show that calls to law enforcement regarding domestic violence are actually lower on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and have been for the past 10 years.
Data Might Explain When, But It Doesn’t Explain Why
Take for instance a study from 2010. Domestic violence incident statistics reveal a spike in calls on New Year’s, but also on other holidays throughout the year (Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.). Why is that?
Single reports can fail to show how long domestic violence has been occurring in the home or discern between intimate partner violence and other acts of family violence, as well.
There is just so little that we can truly pull from available numbers. Even the experts who evaluate this data say that the numbers fail to explain why incidents are reported more or less throughout the year.
Having access to information about how long the relationship has lasted and how long the violence has lasted, for example, would paint a better picture of the incident and why it’s being reported.
Financial strain, stress, and alcohol are all linked to domestic violence, but there is no one cause of domestic abuse (other than an abuser.)
Plenty of factors play into why someone would commit domestic violence, and these factors aren’t always easy to calculate or evaluate with data. Furthermore, not all incidents are ever reported.
Not All Incidents of Domestic Violence Are Reported
Data never tells the whole story when it comes to domestic violence. Not all incidents of domestic violence are reported.
In fact, these incidents are more likely to be swept under the rug than taken to law enforcement.
Incidents of domestic violence could also be reported later only when friends, family, and colleagues see symptoms or hear stories from victims.
So why do we need to be aware of the weaknesses in these stories and data sources? Because these myths could (and sometimes do) lead to overzealous policing here.
These Myths Could Lead to Overzealous Policing in Connecticut
It’s no surprise to see more police cars on the side of the road the night before Thanksgiving or around New Year’s Eve. When the police suspect a spike in crime, they put more patrol cops on the street. Unfortunately, when these officers are looking for a crime that might not be happening, innocent people could be accused.
Misunderstandings Can Lead to False Accusations
If the neighbors hear an altercation at your home or your partner’s colleagues see a bruise on their arm, the police could be called in.
Domestic violence is often a case of “he said, she said,” so trying to talk your way out of an accusation may not help you. You might have to fight back through the law.
Overzealous policing and unlawful arrests don’t just hurt the people being accused. It takes precious time and resources away from victims who are continuing to be abused in their homes.
Fight Back against New Haven Domestic Violence Accusations
Domestic violence is a serious problem throughout the United States year-round, but false accusations and arrests do not help to reduce the number of people who are abused each year.
It is important you set the record straight. Fight back against domestic violence accusations. A skilled Connecticut domestic violence attorney can help you build a strong defense strategy and avoid conviction.
About the Author
Douglas D. Rudolph practices criminal defense law with two guiding principles in mind: that you are someone who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that you are innocent until proven guilty. Those are beliefs that have served him well so far in New Haven and across Connecticut, where he has built a reputation as someone who truly cares about his clients and will fight aggressively for them. His work has earned him a number of prestigious awards, including landing on The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 list two years in a row and being named to the Top 10 Under 40 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys in 2018.