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Why do the holidays give rise to more domestic violence?

Although the year-end holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and giving, for many people they're anything but that. With kids home from school, spouses off of work and extended family visiting, the togetherness can get overwhelming.

Divorced or estranged spouses often find themselves having to interact more than usual over the holidays with their exes as they trade off time with their kids. Holiday plans often lead to conflict between divorced parents if specific arrangements haven't been agreed upon.

The pressure to get everything done in preparation for the holidays can also place an added stress on family relationships. Shopping for presents can make some couples more aware of how strained their finances are.

All of this can lead to altercations between spouses and partners as well as between parents and children. Anger can spill over into physical actions or threats that make people afraid for their safety. It's not surprising that some law enforcement officers report a rise in domestic violence calls this time of year.

Another trigger can be alcohol. Holiday and New Year's parties may start out fun, but after a few drinks, couples may lose the inhibitions that they'd normally have about venting their feelings. Arguments are more likely to cross the line into physical confrontations when people are under the influence of alcohol than when they are sober.

If you find your relationship with your spouse, partner and/or children deteriorating, it may be wise to consider getting some individual, couples or family counseling before things get out of control. Even if the person you're having the confrontation with doesn't call the police, a family member, friend or neighbor may call them if they see or hear what they believe to be domestic violence. Under Kentucky law, police officers can arrest someone if they have probable cause to believe that a family member or partner was harmed.

If you find yourself charged with a domestic violence crime, it's essential to consult with an experienced Kentucky criminal defense attorney. A domestic violence conviction can endanger your job, your ability to see your children and your freedom. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors take such charges seriously. So should anyone facing these charges.

Source: WDAM Channel 7, "Officials warn of holiday domestic violence," Ryan Moore, Dec. 18, 2015

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Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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Phone: 270-605-0441
Toll Free: 866-397-7788
Fax: 270-439-1177

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