Thursday, December 24, 2009

A time for cheer: Dating Violence and the Holidays.

The holidays are often viewed as the happiest times of the year – a time to rejoice with family & friends. Unfortunately, the holiday season is often a time of increased family and personal stress, which can lead to increased incidences of domestic violence. An article in the Seymour Herald reported eight incidences of intimate partner violence this week, arresting both men and women, ages 21-54. The article sited research by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that there is usually an increase in domestic violence during the holidays due to “family stress”, alcohol and the economic stress that is put upon families during the holidays.

In the past two weeks, we have seen several prominent individuals involved in domestic incidents - from Tiger Woods over Thanksgiving, to Cincinnati Bengals' Chris Henry, who was allegedly involved in a domestic incident that ultimately led to his death. was a lot of news focusing on two domestic violence incidences that occurred around the holidays, one involving tiger woods (on thanksgiving) and recently, the death of the cincinatti bengals chris henry who was involved in a domestic incident which led to his own death.

While stories of celebrities or sports figures can dominate the news cycle, especially as they are fueled by speculation on social media sites such as Twitter, we cannot and must not forget those victims of abuse who go unheard until tragedy occurs. One such story appeared in the LA Times. Brandon Manai, 28, was convicted Thursday in the murder of his 24-year old wife, Julie Rosas. What is alarming from the story is the visible signs of an unhealthy relationship that were present through their brief marriage - incessant phone calls and texts, late night arguments, showing up unannounced to her place of work. These are all acts identified by the Safe Space as indicators of relationship abuse. While someone was unable to help Ms. Rosas before her death - we can still raise awareness and speak up to help a friend or loved one in need.

The Safe Space has special resources to help if you believe someone is a victim of abuse. Click here to learn more. Or, read the story of Marisol and Luis - a young couple whose relationship became abusive.

Of course, if you believe someone's life is in danger - call 911 and report it. Your call could save their life!

Remember, no matter how stressed out someone might be violence is NEVER the answer and has no place in anyone's life. If you are feeling stressed, communicate your thoughts calmly and respectfully. If you need to leave the situation for a while, that's ok! Both you and the person you are dating will be able to address issues more clearly after a "cool down." Be mindful that each person deserves to be treated thoughtfully, with respect to their own privacy and space.

From everyone at Break the Cycle and The Safe Space, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a safe, healthy, happy new year!


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