Connects Against Crime

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Connects Against Crime: Holiday Domestic Violence

Updated: Thursday, December 12 2013, 10:33 PM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- During the holidays, residents say its less about Santa or the trees or the presents and more about the ties that bind - family.

It's one of the main reasons to have a holiday to get together and celebrate and spend time together, said resident Metta Beninga.

But the holiday season can quickly turn into a season of discontent, with issues between family members flaring up.

There's not enough money to buy the presents you need to buy, family members coming over that you don't get along with, said Sgt. Cristy Hamblin with the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

CRPD says the numbers tell the story.

During Christmas and Thanksgiving, calls for reports of domestic violence jump. Last year, CRPD received 52 calls during Christmas week, in some cases doubling their normal intake. That only includes the incidents that are actually recorded.

If they're not living together in the same household, then a report may not be made, Hamblin said. They may say no.

Sometimes the fights are serious enough to lead to injuries even death.

Arguing, fighting can already make explosive situations worse, said Lori Hagg with Horizons in Cedar Rapids.

Where does the arguing stem from? Hagg says just being around family can set things off.

They spend a lot of time together, which they're not used to doing, Hagg said.

Introducing alcohol to that mix can make things worse, and intensity lingering family disagreements. However, Hagg says the number one reason for Holiday arguments is money - as increased pressure meets unrealistic expectations.

They want to provide their children things they can't afford, so that adds pressure when they're already having difficulty paying monthly bills.

So as nice as the gifts and the presents are, you may also want to invest in some perspective.

Disagreements, discord, jealousy, rage...they have no part in the Christmas Holiday, resident Vernon Beninga said.

You have to bury that, or you're not a family, resident Melvin Campbell added. You're just a bunch of people arguing with each other.

If you need help or are a victim of domestic violence, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.Connects Against Crime: Holiday Domestic Violence

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