Domestic violence and the holidays: How to cope

During the holidays, many people are relaxing and celebrating. But if there is someone in your family who is abusive or violent, it could also be a scary or sad time. Holidays are a time when people might drink more alcohol, money can be tight, families are together more, and emotions run high. These all make domestic violence more likely to happen.

But what can you do about it?

There’s no right or wrong way to handle domestic violence. However you deal with it is OK – as long as you and your loved ones are safe.

You can take steps to make things a bit safer. An emergency bag might be a good idea: if you feel like anyone is in danger (including you), this bag can be packed with essential things like clothes, toiletries, keys, medication and money. Keep it hidden in a safe place. If you need to leave quickly, you can take this. If you feel that it’s safe, speak to a family member outside of the house. See if they can give you a place to go if you need it.

If you need someone to talk to, speak to a friend or a trusted adult. A counsellor, psychologist or social worker can also help. If you don’t know what to do or how to help, get in touch with places that know about domestic violence. They can talk you through your options and give you support.

  • People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA): call 011 642 4345/6 or click here
  • Stop Gender Violence Hotline: 0800 150 150
  • Gender Based Violence Helpline: 0800 428 428

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B-Wise User Anonymous 3 June 2020 16:14

Hy I have a sister who lives with her her boyfriend same as me just because we were neglected by family members after our dad died eversince there we have been living with boyfriend's just to have a roof over our is in school doing her first year its very hard for me coz now I lost my job can anyone pls help

B-Wise Expert Expert 3 June 2020 16:40


Use the contact information below to talk to a counselor who can give you advice:

Get in touch with LoveLife's Contact Centre on 0800 121 900 or send a PLZ CAL ME to 083 323 1023 

You can also whatsapp Life Line at 065 989 9238

B-Wise User Anonymous 30 March 2020 12:21

Good day where can a man that suffers abuse can go in order to be rehabilitated

B-Wise Expert Expert 30 March 2020 13:58

Hi There,

If things seem to be going wrong in your relationships or family life - including violence in the home or child abuse - then it's time to get help.

  • Stop Gender Violence helpline 24hrs: 0800 150 150
  • Gender-based violence call centre: 0800 428 428 (or *120*7867#)
  • Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 452 4110 (to report abuse or neglect)
  • Police emergency: 10111
  • Police (report a crime): 0860 010 111
  • National ambulance emergency: 01777 (or 112 on a cellphone)