The Psychological Impact of Domestic Violence on a Child

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When we think about stress affecting individuals, various images can come to mind such as the single mother working two jobs in order to keep food on the table, the father who just lost his job and has a mortgage along with other bills, the teen who is pressured under cultural norms and wont be true to himself, or the fulltime student who is working part time in order to pay his/her college tuition.
We can all agree that all the individuals mentioned above would probably be dealing with stress and have a reason to, but what about an infant? How about a child from those cheery, colorful, bright preschools? “Impossible” you say. Is “not likely” running through your head, or “Doubt it” at the back of your mind?
Let’s bring some life situations into perspective? There are innocent children who witnesses their father beat their mother every day and children who go to sleep scared every night, hearing the heated discussions of their parents.
Domestic violence not only affects a family’s dynamics, but it leaves children suffering from the devastating psychological effects of stress. There is a high likelihood that children who have been subjected to violence at home multiple times will experience PSTD (post traumatic stress disorder) (Margolin, 445). Studies show that domestic violence actually happens at high rates and is generally distinguished as one of the most frequent and severe unfavorable events during childhood (Margolin, 613). A study in 2006 showed that approximately 30% of children with two parents suffer from domestic violence (Charles, 138). Children who are victims or witnesses of domestic violence suffer intensive psychological damage if professional care is not provided as soon as possible.
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