Winnipeg Police Service’s domestic violence intervention co-ordinator Det.-Sgt. Arlene Kramble says there are fewer calls coming in during November and December in 2009 and 2010 compared with calls coming in during other months throughout the year.
Professionals working with victims of domestic violence say this is a ‘disturbing trend’
At this time of year, most people want a picture perfect family union, and reunion: Even if the reality of this dream is often very unrealistic, many strive to create this picture. People are compelled to keep family together at this time of year.
Victims will return to an abusive home or situation because of shame- of not having or have created or provided the family with the picture perfect family.
There is enormous stress on the family unit to create such a picture, for themselves and for others around them and will often do, and accept behaviours that they might never accept any other time of year.
There is sufficient evidence of families who come together at this time of year who desperately try to create a wonderful holiday for themselves, their families and their children find themselves in a worse situation than ever. In spite of all of their efforts the holidays don’t measure up to their dreams or positive expectations, or hopes.
Alcohol consumption at this time of year, combined with the real unresolved issues at hand can become a lethal combination. The end result can turn out worse for everyone involved.
Sharon Morgan, executive director of aboriginal women’s shelter Ikwe Widdjiitiwin, had this to say;
“women return to abusive homes before Christmas because they feel compelled to keep the family together.
Sometimes, children will act out to coerce their mothers to return home, or mothers feel forced to return due to feelings of guilt, embarrassment or shame.
“…part of being in a shelter is the shame that comes with leaving their relationship, and maybe people don’t know that you’ve been beaten on a regular basis. You’re too ashamed to tell people that,”
In one week this month, Ikwe Widdjiitiwin had about 27 women and children staying there, less than its 32-person capacity.
The shelter’s program manager, Joan Davis, said “the holiday season can be stressful for mothers who want to create a happy experience for their kids.”
According to (Winnipeg, Manitoba) city police these observations of those at shelters is not news.
This year give yourself, and your family the best gift of all- Do everything and anything to stay safe.
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Don’t let Domestic Violence or Abuse destroy your holiday season or your life.