Domestic Abuse at the Holidays

The time you spend with your relatives this holiday season could turn violent.. That's because domestic abuse cases normally increase during these times.

Alcohol... That's what authorities attribute the increase of cases too.. When you mix that with anger and depression that affects some during the holidays... It can be a dangerous situation.

From 2000 to 2003 domestic violence in Amarillo jumped between November to December. That trend has only recently changed. But just because numbers are down... That doesn't mean the problem can't happen to you.

One of the ways to protect yourself is make sure some one is there to arbitrate the situation.

Dr. Son Vi Nguyen with the Psychiatry Clinic of Amarillo says, "The unfortunate thing is that everybody in the party may be drinking and there may not be always a good mediator to say lets stop in time before things get to far."

If you can't work it out through talking... Then take the steps to protect yourself.

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department says, "Iif they are concerned for their safety than they need to call us, if we need to assist them to getting to another location, even if no violence has occurred. We can assist them. If they feel they are going to get assaulted or abused than they definitely need to get out of that."

Experts say it's important to take steps ahead of time to protect yourself... Because it's not just you... But your children can be severally affected by seeing violence at the holidays.

Dr. Nguyen says, "It sends a bad message to the children. It says ok, if they have seen it years after years, even though they do enjoy things around Christmas, but then Christmas in their young mind is associated with fights."

Finally, experts say protect yourself by not putting yourself around people that you know can be violent when drinking.