The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

Domestic Violence and Children

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

Definition of Domestic Violence:

A pattern of coercive behavior which may include physical and sexual violence, threats, insults and economic deprivation which is aimed at gaining and then maintaining power and control over the body, mind, lifestyle and behavior of a partner.

Witnessing Domestic Violence is the single best predictor of juvenile delinquency.

The rate of partner violence is 1000% highter for men who observed domestic violence in childhood.

Children are faced with the overwhelming task of finding;

a sense of trust with the untrustworthy

safety in a situation which is unsafe

control in a terrifying and unpredictable environment.

 

Effects of DV on Children Living in Violent Households

 

0-1 YEAR OLDS

Seeing it

Hearing it

Being awakened by it

Being injured by it

Being ripped from mother’s arms

Having toys broken

Being born prematurely

Being hit while in mom’s arms

Being thrown

Physical injury

Death

Fright

Being traumatized by it

Sleep disturbances

Eating disturbances

Being colicky or sick

Insecurity because of being cared for by a traumatized mom

Not responsive or cuddly

 

2-4 YEAR OLDS

Seeing it

Hearing it

Trying to stop altercation

Becoming abused themselves

Being used as a physical weapon against the victim

Being interrogated by perpetrator about victims activities

Being held hostage by perpetrator

Acting out violently

Withdrawal

Trouble with other kids

Delayed toileting

Eating problems

Nervous, jumpy

Sleep problems

Insecurity, fear and Depression

 

5-12 YEAR OLDS

Seeing & hearing it

Picking 1 parent to defend

Physically intervening

Calling the police

Running to neighbors for help

Being used as a spy against Mom

Forced to participate in attack on Mom

Being physically or sexually abused to control Mom

Being restricted from contact with others

Fear & insecurity

Low self esteem

Withdrawal/depression

Running away

Early drug/alcohol use

School problems

Bedwetting

Sexual activity

Becoming caretaker of adults

Being embarrassed by one’s family

 

EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON OLDER CHILDREN AND TEENS (BOYS & GIRLS)

Killing/trying to kill perpetrator

Trying to stop the abuse

Hitting parent or siblings

Becoming physically abused

Being used as a spy

Being used as a confidante

Being coerced by perpetrator to be abusive to mom

School problems

Social problems

Sexual activity

Shamed & embarrassed

Truancy

Superachiever at school

Tendency to get serious relationships too early to escape home

Depression

Suicide

Alcohol/drug use

Confusion about gender roles

 

 

EFFECTS SPECIFIC TO BOYS

Learning that males are violent

Learning to disrespect women

Using violence in his own relationships

Confusion or insecurity about being a man

Attacking parents or siblings

EFFECTS SPECIFIC TO GIRLS

Learning that male violence is normal

Learning that women don’t get respect

Accepting violence in her own relationships

Embarrassed about being female

Becoming pregnant

 

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