PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local expert says there are a lot of myths surrounding domestic abuse and the holidays.

Stress levels go up for everyone during November and December with the holidays coming on. But a local expert says you might be surprised at just what will trigger a domestic violence situation.

Jeannine Listiski is executive director of Women Against Abuse in Philadelphia:

“On the more traditional holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, domestic violence incidents actually decrease. But it’s holidays like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, where there’s a lot of alcohol and maybe sports, coupled with the holiday, that we see a real increase.”

National experts say abusers often use holiday stress as an excuse and also pick this time to get a tighter grip, emotionally and physically on their victims. Try going to your local churches, shelters or the police if you need help.

Reported By Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio.

Watch & Listen LIVE