Domestic Violence - How to Stay Safe During the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, more so for those dealing with domestic violence or abuse. According to Women Against Crime, domestic abuse increases over the holidays, for a number of possible reasons:

  • Stress from holiday shopping, finances, and planning can aggravate volatile personalities.
  • Abusers are more likely to use alcohol or drugs when they don’t have to work, especially during the holiday break from work.
  • Simple opportunity: Abusers are more likely to be home alone with their victims than at other times of the year.

Nobody wants to experience an abusive relationship, especially during the holidays. If you find yourself a victim of domestic violence, help is available. There are online resources such as The National Domestic Violence Hotline or local shelters. Turning to a trusted friend or close family member can also help if you are unable to leave the relationship. 

If you are able to escape an abusive partner, consider getting a restraining order. A restraining order is a type of injunction of which the primary goal is to protect people from violence or stalking. An injunction is a court order to continue or cease actions between multiple parties. 

If the restraining order is violated, the abuser may be held in contempt of court. They may also face a first-degree misdemeanor charge which can bring up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Repeat violations can bring heavier charges, such as a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The process for getting a restraining order can be tough to navigate, so it is best to have an attorney on your side. Call Attorney Brandon Gans for help filing an injunction.

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