Recently, a journalist asked us to comment on whether it was true that domestic violence increases in hot weather. The response of the Executive Directors’ of THANS member organizations is so powerful that I am compelled to share it here:
Member organizations of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia do not necessarily see a correlation between heat and domestic violence. They further emphasize that nothing, heat or lack of air conditioning etc, can justify or excuse family and domestic violence. There are many contributing factors that may trigger domestic violence, but such factors are almost never the cause. In commonly-used danger assessments, hot weather is not considered a predictor of intimate partner violence leading to homicide. It may be the case that someone who is abusive may become more likely to abuse in hot weather.
Some members express concern that such statements, even if unintentionally, minimize the responsibility of the perpetrator of violence.