Does the Superbowl Increase Domestic Violence?

This morning as I perused the local news, I saw yet another letter by a ‘concerned citizen’ bemoaning the fact that on Superbowl Sunday there will be more incidents of domestic violence than at any other time of year.



That is a made up statistic by, who knows? Yet despite several years of attempts to dispel the myth, it continues to rear its’ ugly head. But since you’re already thinking about it, let’s talk about family violence.

So what do you need to remember about domestic violence? It costs YOU a lot of money.

The first year of a child’s life is important for brain development. Intimate violence in the family can impact an infant’s brain development and  impair cognitive and sensory growth.


Once they start school, these children show poor concentration and focus; 40% had lower reading abilities than children from non-violent homes. Instead of looking at the reason why these kids act this way, an overwhelmed school system focuses on the behavior, which leads to these kids being labeled and placed on medication.

As teenagers, these kids are at greater risk for substance abuse, juvenile pregnancy and criminal behavior. They are more likely to be violent than children who grow up in nonviolent homes.

These are children who are more likely to end up homeless, involved in the criminal justice system, and have difficulty holding down a job.

Of course, many of these kids go on to become adults who are productive members of society, but they still have problems such as increased risk of substance abuse, health problems, and increased risk for depression.

And this costs me how?

You are on the hook for increased education costs as school systems evaluate these children, provide special education services, and hire additional staff to manage these children’s behavior. Your kids also suffer when an already overwhelmed teacher has to take her or his attention away from teaching the compliant kids to deal with this one that’s acting a fool in the classroom.


You pay for child protective investigations, services provided to the family, and the cost of incarceration for these kids.

And you’ll pay for the service provided to them as they are homeless, their mental health treatment, the salaries of the law enforcement officers they invariably encounter and the cost of incarcerating them.

So what do we need to do for families where we suspect (or know) domestic violence is present? 

Report the family to your state’s child protective services agency. Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence are also likely to be victims of abuse or neglect themselves.

Call the police. Sadly, here in Florida, most charges of domestic battery are dropped if the victim requests it, but that’s not true now in many states. The state will still prosecute the perpetrator even if the victim does not cooperate.

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I know, you don’t want to get involved. You don’t want to be a snitch. You’re afraid the perp will turn on you. I get that. But when you break down what domestic violence in another home costs you, it’s worth it to face your fears and do the right thing.


And do it anytime you become aware of violence, not just during the Superbowl. 



13 thoughts on “Does the Superbowl Increase Domestic Violence?

    1. Statistics don’t support that theory. There’s not an increase of calls to law enforcement, child protective services or domestic violence shelters after the Super Bowl.

  1. Years ago I remember my husband knocking on a door when he heard what sounded like a many knocking his girlfriend around the apartment building. The couple united to turn on him.

    Which is a good reminder to call the professionals. Human dynamics are really tricky, even for people with experience and training. And having a record of violence may be important for future legal actions.

    1. Yes, domestic violence calls are the most dangerous for law enforcement officers because they are unpredictable. Just remember that the non-offending partner is probably siding with the perpetrator because her life depends on it. She fears his harming her and possibly others.

  2. That more-domestic-violence-on-Superbowl-Sundays claim started some 20+ years ago. I don’t know who in particular concocted the myth, but it was born out of the misandry of the feminist left. By the 1990s, some women’s rights activists moved beyond calls for gender parity to the desecration of anything male. As with many crises, they tried to find a simple cause (scapegoat) for an otherwise complicated situation. They claimed that men – pumped up on beer and nachos – would metamorphose into rabidly violent animals when the ‘Big Game’ ended and demanded sex from their female partners. It’s around this same period that the idiotic term “testosterone poisoning” arose. This latter proclamation insinuated that males are inherently defective.

    But matters aren’t that elementary. People always seem to want quick answers to even the most complex of problems. For example, some claim the spread of HIV among heterosexuals is due to men experimenting with the “gay lifestyle.” Instead, increased drug usage and the fact the scourge has crossed what some previously thought was an impenetrable barrier between gay men and everyone else are the culprits. A multitude of causes contribute to family violence, including: alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, unemployment and underemployment.

    Since you’re on the front lines in dealing with families in crisis, Jen, I’m certain you know about all of these things. I’m glad you point out the financial costs in handling these problems. People often don’t consider the severity of family violence until it’s put in financial terms. But, regardless of what it takes to get society’s attention, we need to examine the issue more closely. All those children comprise our future.

    1. Don’t blame all of us women, now. Most of us are too busy working and caring for our family to care what those few women who were deemed “influential” had to say. The saddest part about the women’s movement to me was that it never represented all women, just the women who had money.

  3. It makes me so angry when people refuse to intervene because “it’s a family matter.” Families are not private fiefdoms exempt from law and ethics. They can be the most dangerous places in the world for a little kid. Lots of people knew what was happening to me and my brother when we were little but nobody wanted to interfere or go up against my family. I hope all those bystanders burn in the same hell as abusers. (Okay, so I don’t believe in hell, but I hope they can never sleep at night again and that the guilt consumes them like acid. But no, I’m not bitter.)

    People who know a kid is maybe being hurt and who make the decision to walk away are just as culpable as the actual fist. And then when that kid grows up with PTSD or other problems, there’s no support there either. AAARRGH!!!!

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