Domestic violence is a major problem in the United States. When most people think of domestic violence, they think of one person beating the other person in a relationship. Webster defines domestic violence as “the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another.” Domestic violence has a major effect on children. Some people say that the violence has no effect, while others argue that the violence has a negative effect on children. Domestic violence scars children for the rest of their lives. Once children witness the act of violence, they are more likely to have problems throughout the rest of their lives. Domestic Violence has a negative effect on the way children behave, the way they learn, the careers they choose,
Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of controlling behavior that involves abuse by one family member or intimate partner to another (e.g., marriage or cohabitation). There are varied forms of DV that range from subtle, coercive forms, to violent abuses, which can result in death. According to affects Jain & Chaturvedi (2010), “DV affects humans of all age groups, worldwide”. It takes place in various relationships, such as heterosexual or LGBTQI relationships and it can also be directed toward children in the family. For the purposes of this paper, the author will analyze the impacts of DV on the health of children. This will be done in attempts to broaden current knowledge on this issue from a social work perspective.
Few would disagree that witnessing the assault of their mother is a very disturbing experience for children. However, not all children living with domestic violence witness the direct physical assaults on their mother but they will be acutely aware of the abuse she suffers. Children do not have to directly witness any violence to be profoundly affected by it. There is a wealth of research which has highlighted the negative impact witnessing domestic violence can have on children. Abrahams (1994) found that ninety one per cent of the mothers within her research thought their children had suffered negative effects due to domestic violence. Furthermore, eighty six per cent believed these negative effects continued into adolescence.
“5 million children witness domestic violence each year in the US.” (Childhood Domestic Violence Association 2016) Domestic abuse has many effects on the victim and the child. When a child watches or hears domestic violence, they can be affected short term or long term. Short term effects include worrying about the parent’s safety, become aggressive, have anxiety, their activity levels are high, and trouble sleeping or having nightmares. Long term effects can include the child having problems with substance abuse, behavioral problems, or health problems. (NCTSN
This paper will investigate the impact of domestic violence on a child’s emotional and psychological development from a young age. Domestic violence (often called ‘family violence’) can include physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse. Domestic violence affects children emotionally by witnessing violence. Evidence suggests that children who witness regular acts of domestic violence have greater emotional and behavioural problems than other children as they grow up (Reference). Some of the immediate effects may include: nightmares, anxiety, withdrawal and bedwetting. Family violence occurs when someone uses behaviour that is violent, threatening, intimidating or controlling, or intended to cause the family or household member to be fearful. Some of these behaviours can include physical, verbal, emotional and sexual or psychological abuse (Reference). Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence grow up in an environment that is unpredictable, filled with tension and anxiety and
School Violence. Adolescents who are exposed to fighting in the home and neighborhood are more likely to engage in fighting at school (Franke, Huynh-Hohnbaum & Chung, 2002). A study by Knous-Westfall et al. (2012) reported that children exposed to parental IPV actually learn that violence is an effective way to deal with conflict. Witnessing the violence makes the children more likely to display aggressive behavior (Morcillo et al., 2015). Franke, Huynh-Hohnbaum and Chung (2002) found that risk factors of violent behavior among school children included poverty,
Domestic violence can often go unnoticed, unreported and undeterred before it’s too late. Unfortunately, recent awareness efforts have gathered traction only when public outcry for high profile cases are magnified through the media. Despite this post-measured reality, a general response to domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) by the majority of the public is in line with what most consider unacceptable and also with what the law considers legally wrong. Consider by many, more than just a social discrepancy, the Center of Diseases Control and Prevention currently classifies IPV and DV as a social health problem (CDC, 2014).
The phrase “domestic violence” typically refers to violence between adult intimate partners. It has been estimated that every year there are about 3.3 to 10 million children exposed to domestic violence in the confines of their own home (Moylan, Herrenkohl, Sousa et al. 2009). According to research conducted by John W. Fantuzzo and Wanda K. Mohr(1999): “[e]xposure to domestic violence can include watching or hearing the violent events, direct involvement (for example, trying to intervene or calling the police), or experiencing the aftermath (for example, seeing bruises or observing maternal depression)” (Fantuzzo & Mohr, 22). The effects of exposure can vary from direct effects such as behavioral and developmental issues to interpersonal relationships, all of which lead to detrimental prospects on the child’s development. This paper will explore those effects and how it affects children.
Each year approximately 4.8 million acts of physical or sexual aggression are perpetrated against women while 2.9 million physically aggressive acts are perpetrated against men within the United States (Edleson, Ellerton, Seagren, Kirchberg, Schmidt & Ambrose, 2007). Many of these incidents take place in the presences of children, which make these figures even more disturbing (Evans, Davies & DiLillo, 2008). Research indicates that 40.2% of United States battered women responding in national surveys state that their children have witnessed one or more abusive events (Edleson et al., 2007). Overall 66% of research samples regarding childhood exposure to domestic violence reported to having direct exposure to the abuse (Barnett, Miller-Perrin & Perrin, 2011).
“Growing up in a violent home is one of the most terrifying and traumatic experiences a child can go through.” Violence in homes can be domestic abuse between parents, extended family and children. One hand, this has been a recurring problem and should have more exposure in our societies through the use of education. On the other hand, once violence in the family has occurred and the police were notified, the situation tends to get worse between each family member, especially children. The current methods of dealing with violence in homes those children are exposed to whether they are between spouses, families or, children and parents, do more harm than good. The way to solve the problem of the aftermath trauma for young children should not be more emphasis on just physical abuse, but psychological as well.
Domestic violence is an issue that many people in our world today face, whether it be personally, or through a friend or family member. Unfortunately it is something our world is plagued with. Domestic violence is not something that only adults have to deal with, but in fact is something that even children have to deal with as well. Children take the impact of domestic violence all the way into adulthood and in some cases can be caused to lose trust in everyone they meet.
Lundy, M., & Grossman, S. F. (2005). The mental health and service needs of young children exposed to domestic violence: Supportive data. Families in Society, 86(1), 17-29. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/230168631?accountid=10825