One of the state’s leading advocates for women who’ve been abused by their mates says it’s a myth that abuse escalates during the holidays. Laurie Schipper, director of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says they’ve found most battered women, and the men who beat them, work very hard to keep the violence down during the holidays. Schipper says violence is more likely to erupt AFTER the holidays, when the bills come due or there’s a let-down after the Christmas season.Schipper says that doesn’t mean there aren’t horrific violent episodes in families over the holidays, and she’s talked with lots of kids who have horrible memories, like having their dad rip the tree apart and throw it across the room on Christmas Eve. Having relatives visit over the holidays prompts some women to provoke an outburst way before Christmas so the bruises will be gone by then. Schipper says most battered women don’t want to have the abuse happen when their mother’s staying in the guest bedroom. Schipper says there’s an increase in battered women seeking help in January, and she suspects one reason is because they saw family over the holiday and were encouraged by their family to get out.
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