When women are victims of domestic violence and their children are witnesses to it, the consequences can be traumatic for both parties. Researchers have established a clear pattern of response behavior including the likeliness of PTSD for women with certain predispositions and an array of psychological damages. Classification of PTSD symptoms according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) occur in three areas: Re-experiencing of the event (bad dreams or intrusive thoughts), avoidance and emotional numbing, and hyper arousal (difficulty sleeping and exaggerated startle response). An established correlation between Attachment Disorder (AD) and an increase in the likelihood of acquiring PTSD (Scott & Babcock, 2010) in children who are witnesses to domestic violence (DV) reveal that DV takes a devastating toll upon the victims and the young witnesses. The lack of treatments is a concern.
Women who are abused by their intimate partners are likely to display PTSD symptoms. The question then remains; what is the difference for abused women who do not have PTSD symptoms? In studies, researchers were able to show that both attachment anxiety and dependency are links between intimate partner violence and PTSD. The attachment differences may explain why certain abuse victims are more susceptible to PTSD (Scott & Babcock, 2010). In order to access attachment differences both the female and male partner were questioned using the Conflict Tactics Scale. To assess the female participants’ attachment levels the Adult Attachment Scale (AAS) was used to measure the underlying dimensions of attachment style and...
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...reatments that have not been thoroughly clinically tested or show evidence of successful outcomes (Stapleton, Taylor, & Asmundson, 2007).
PTSD is psychologically crippling to the sufferers. Women who are battered by their intimate partners and children who witness the abuse of their mothers are at a high risk for developing PTSD. The research community still has a long way to go in the understanding of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and its link to battered women and children who witness the abuse. As more understanding comes then better treatments will follow. It is important to support this research to bring the essential help the victims need and to raise awareness to the public. The communities need to provide training to school counselors to recognize PTSD symptoms in children and to assist and direct families toward trained psychologists.
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