It's the time of year when many people are able to secure some downtime, relaxing with family and friends and reflecting on the year that was.
But anti-domestic violence advocates suggest that, for some, family stresses over a short period of time can be a risk factor for violent offending.
Domestic Violence NSW CEO Joanne Yates has given a sobering insight into domestic violence incidents in the festive season, saying that domestic violence incidents increase nine-fold around New Year's and double around Christmas.
“Over the holiday period, the real spike is around New Year's Eve so we see violent offending up to nine times higher than what it usually is at other times across that whole holiday period," Yates told 7NEWS.com.au.
“That’s the same with domestic assaults as well.”
Violent offending spikes dramatically between 9pm and midnight on New Year's Eve and early on New Year's Day between midnight and 3am, according to statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statics and Research (BOCSAR).
Yates said the intense period of increased family stress over a short period of time plays its part in domestic assaults at the end of the year, among other factors.
“It's a great time of family stress, both in terms of emotional stress, psychological burdens, impost on families of additional financial impositions of preparing for Christmas," she said.
Increase in assaults
Overall in NSW, domestic violence-related assaults have been steadily increasing for the past decade, at an average rate of 1.9 per cent a year - a trend that Yates says is "extremely concerning".
"DVNSW is particularly concerned that the rate of homicide has not fallen and that still, one woman a week is murdered by her partner or former partner," she said.
From January to September this year, 22,594 domestic violence-related assaults were recorded, according to BOCSAR.
“We actually think it's about men being a little bit more aware about the behaviour traits that they're exhibiting and the kinds of things that might give rise to their violent behaviour," Yates said.
"So we would think that minimising access to alcohol, trying to stay a bit calmer on the day, watching what you spend your money on, watching how much you gamble.
'It's a great time of family stress, both in terms of emotional stress, psychological burdens.'
"There are ways that women, of course, can protect themselves and that is, if you leave to get out of home, make sure that you do that in a way which is safe to you.
"So alert your other family members if that's a safe thing to do."
Yates said victims should find a safe place to go in the event of violence, even if it is just for a few hours.
Other NSW authorities reminded victims of domestic and family violence that help is available.
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman last week said he wanted victims and survivors to speak out and seek help.
He also urged perpetrators to seek help "because police will come knocking on your door" and urged neighbours, co-workers and loved ones to contact Crimestoppers with domestic violence concerns.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones said perpetrators had been put on notice that their behaviour wasn't acceptable.
"We'll be doing apprehended domestic violence order compliance checks, we'll be knocking on doors of the victims making sure they are safe, knocking on the perpetrators' doors as well, reminding them they are to be held accountable," Jones told reporters.
"The police are doing whatever we can to work with our government and non-government sources to assist."
Yates also said recent alleged domestic violence incidents in NSW were devastating.
On Monday, a 70-year-old man was charged with two counts of causing domestic-violence related grievous bodily harm with intent after allegedly intentionally causing a car crash.
The man and two female passengers were injured when the Toyota Hilux they were travelling in swerved across lanes in Campbelltown and crashed into a wall, police said.
Late last month, a woman’s body was found in a freezer in a Pymble unit, with her husband alleged to have killed her before fleeing the country with their children to China.
“I think those, those two (incidents) are really about highlighting the worst level of physical violence against women," Yates said.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
In an emergency, call 000.