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Holiday Boozing Fuels Surge in Domestic Violence

The volatile mix of Yuletide stress and heavy alcohol consumption sets records at abuse shelters.

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Holidays are a time for drinking, and
domestic violence. Photo via

By Luke Walker

12/21/11

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A combination of financial stress, holiday shopping, too much family time and—you guessed it—markedly higher consumption of alcohol by drinkers leads to a dramatic spike in domestic violence over the holidays. with more battered women and abused children checking into shelters to seek refuge from abusive spouses and parents. According to Carol Wick, CEO of Harbor House, a shelter for battered women and displaced families in central Florida, there are already a record numbers of intakes this season—more than double stats seen during the summer months. “People have this image of what the holidays should be like and that their problems should go away,” says Wick, “Job loss doesn't go away and violence doesn't go away either. So we actually see it spike.”

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