Sex, Violence, And Sexual Violence Essay

Sex, Violence, And Sexual Violence Essay

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Introduction
Approximately 15.5 million American children, ages 0-17, are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) in their homes every year (McDonald, Jouriles, Ramisetty-Mikler, Caetano, & Green, 2006). Worse yet, seven million of these children live in severely violent homes (McDonald et al., 2006). The CDC defines IPV as “physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former partner” (“Intimate Partner Violence,” 2016). Children witness 80-95% of the violence that occurs in their homes, and most child witnesses to violence are under the age of six (Graham-Bermann, Miller-Graff, Howell, & Grogan-Kaylor, 2015). One nationally representative survey indicates that 17% of all children have witnessed family violence by the time they are six years old (Hamby, Finkelhor, Turner, & Ormrod, 2010). This same survey shows that 10% of children under age six witnessed psychological and or physical IPV at home in the past year.
Given these statistics, exposure to IPV has become a public health concern (Overbeek, de Schipper, Lamers-Winkelman, & Schuengel, 2013). There are a wealth of studies suggesting a relationship between exposure to IPV and poor developmental outcomes for children, including internalizing and externalizing problems, cognitive issues, health issues, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS; Wolfe, Crooks, Lee, McIntyre-Smith, & Jaffe, 2003). In fact, one meta-analytic study found that over 60% of child witnesses to IPV have worse developmental outcomes than non-witnesses (Kitzmann, Gaylord, Holt, & Kenny, 2003). Studies also suggest that child witnesses of IPV are at significant risk for experiencing child abuse and other stressful events (Appel &...


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...e conflict that is about the parental relationship in a home where conflict is rare. So the child’s own cognitions about threat and self-blame, as well as the emotions these cognitions inspire, are informed by and fused with the context in their home to create a certain response in the child (Grych et al., 2013). When conflict is constant and aggressive, children’s appraisals are more likely to be negative and self-focused. These appraisals then lead to increased levels of internalizing symptoms like anxiety and depression as well as increased externalizing symptoms if children feel the need to get involved in the conflict (Grych et al., 2013). Thus, in the cognitive-contextual framework, appraisals of threat and self-blame become the mechanism through which children develop internalizing as well as externalizing symptoms (Grych, Fincham, Jouriles, & Mcdonald, 2000).

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