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Staying safe over the holidays

Thanksgiving and winter holidays are times when family comes together, but can also mean high stress and tension

Thanksgiving, winter ceremonies and Christmas are all around the corner. This may be a time that you look forward to or it may be a time that you dread.

Studies show that domestic violence incidents spike during the holidays. They say that increased financial pressure, over extending time commitments, disagreeing on where holidays are spent and increased alcohol consumption all contribute to stress during the holidays. Not to mention that if there’s any dysfunction in the family, it may not show up one-on-one so much, but get everyone in a room together and all the skeletons come out.

So, what can you do to prepare yourself ahead of time? Here are some tips:

1)    Have an escape plan. If things begin to take a turn, try and have a secondary place to go to get some space and air.

2)    Know your numbers. If you are travelling to another town, make sure you have emergency resource numbers on hand, just in case.

3)    Saying NO. Okay, this is a hard one, for sure, but the most important. You may feel like you are letting your family down, but your well-being should come first. You can always plan visits with family members on non-holidays instead, when there’s less stress and pressure.

The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime has a list of coping strategies for sadness and a lot more information. You can find all of that here.

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