DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mixed in with the Super Bowl watch parties and alcohol this weekend is the potential for an increase in domestic violence, an expert says.
The New England Patriots will look to defend their title against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, but with the amount of activity that happens during the big game, one psychologist has noticed an uptick in violent acts.
LaTasha Jackson-McDougle hangs on to memories that’ll last a lifetime as she holds the last picture she ever took with her mother, Cheryl.
“When I look at her, I see myself because we look so much alike,” said Jackson-McDougle.
Cheryl was shot and killed in 1984.
“My father… he killed her and then killed himself in front of me,” said Jackson-McDougle.
She said she and her mother experienced domestic violence. “I suffered a broken hip because my dad hit my mom who was holding me at the time,” she said.
This Super Bowl weekend will be filled with fans, drinking and watch parties — a possible recipe for violence Dr. Sylvia Gearing says.
“Anytime there’s a sports event and there’s alcohol, we have a potential for more domestic violence between couples,” said Dr. Gearing. “This is for fun. This is for recreation. It should never escalate your emotions that much.”
Dr. Gearing said she sees an increase in cases around Spring.
“People tend to want to work on their relationships during the Spring because things have often not gone well over the holidays. And sometimes, Super Bowl weekend is the last straw for people,” said Dr. Gearing.
Jackson-McDougle started a nonprofit, “Cheryl’s Voice,” as a way to help victims and their family get help year-round.
“I really hope – not just during the Super Bowl, but anytime they feel unsafe, that they really think about their children and themselves,” said Jackson-McDougle.