Tuesday, December 4, 2012



Christmas Joy Can Be Stressful  

Tips to help cope this busy holiday season

Released by Cst. Tracy Wolbeck, Chwk RCMP UFVRD


he Christmas season is a time for love and laughter but can also be a very stressful time for families. There are many triggers and stressors over the holidays that can lead to domestic violence.


The Chilliwack RCMP along with members of the Public Safety Committee would like to address some of these triggers as well as provide resources to people who may find themselves in a situation where domestic violence is possible.


Some of the triggers can be increased alcohol consumption at social gatherings, family pressures and stresses with over-scheduling and over-committing, and strained relationships can become more volatile. Finances and over-spending can be a major trigger for domestic violence at this time of year. "Family disputes are by far the most volatile and unpredictable situations we encounter as police officers, "said Cpl. Harinder Kheleh of the Chilliwack Serious Crime Unit. "We take them very seriously and make sure that the people involved have the support they need to move forward."

There are several coping strategies that can be used to soothe the stress and eliminate the possibility of domestic violence. Have family discussions regarding finances long before the season is upon you and stick to the family budget. Always know your limit with alcohol as increased alcohol consumption can lead to arguments that may not have happened in the absence of alcohol. Discuss in advance how your time during the holidays is going to be spent and with whom.

If you have issues with communication and your discussions often result in big, explosive yelling matches, then set the following boundaries that may assist you to get through a conversation. Set a time limit on the discussion and set the topics before hand. If you don't come to a decision at the end of the allotted time, then revisit the topic later. Set ground rules (no yelling or calling names) before your discussion and be accountable to them. Invite a discussion. If the other party does not want to engage in the conversation at that moment then have them agree on a time that will work. Most importantly, be creative in your compromises and stick to the rules you agreed on. Another important thing to consider is knowing where the children are during these discussions. If possible, ensure the children are not around as there can be a negative impact on them and cause unnecessary stresses.

The most important tip to be aware of in domestic violence situations is to know when you are not safe and to seek support immediately. There are 2 transition houses in Chilliwack: Ann Davis at 604 792-3116 and Xolhemet at 604 858-0468. The transition house in Hope is Hope and Area Transition Society at 604 869-5111. For family counseling supports, please contact Chilliwack Community Services at 604 792-4267 or Ann Davis at 604 792-2760.

If there is any violence or threats of violence made, please contact your local RCMP or call 911.


Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice