Family stress, tension leads to rise in domestic violence around holidays


The tragedy in West Hartford, where a 12-year-old boy is charged with the stabbing death of his sister and seriously injuring his mother, is sparking a conversation about domestic violence

During the holidays, stress, tension and frustration can be heightened, which leads to a spike in domestic violence. Dr. Laura Saunders, a clinical psychologist, says those who have been aggressive previously are more likely to repeat dangerous behaviors. 

“Generally aggression and violence doesn’t come out of the blue,” Dr. Saunders told News 8.  “In kids who have problems with aggression, it often could be connected to trauma, connected to depression or connected to severe anxiety.” 

Dr. Saunders says it’s critical for families who notice any signs or symptoms of problem behaviors to address them immediately. 

“I don’t want families to brush it under the rug and say it was just that single incident or it happened a few times,” Saunders added. 

Parents in communities all around the state are struggling with the best way to approach talking to their children about the tragedy in West Hartford and the boy charged with murder. 

“Our anxiety is very heightened in times like this,” Saunders said.  “We get more worried about our kids, let them know you care about them, you love them, seek help if you need it.” 

To seek help or find resources on domestic violence, click here

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