How Domestic Violence Affects Children

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How Domestic Violence Affects Children
April Weaver
Major: Psychology
March 22, 2015 Introduction
Domestic violence is defined as the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another (“Domestic violence – Definition and more from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary,” n.d.). Texas Family Code Sec 71.004 defines family violence as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. Nowhere in the definitions does it specify male to female, adult to child, child to elderly or any other kind of specific limitations for what is domestic violence. That being said, one group that does often get overlooked is the witnesses to the violence. Most people consider domestic violence as between two adults in some sort of non-stranger relationship. So, for this paper, that is how we will address the ones who watch it happen and suffer because of seeing it – the children.
The rates for hotline calls answered for domestic violence incidents in Texas was in the hundreds of thousands from 2010 – 2012, but the number of children involved in receiving services was less than 20,000 for each of those same years as shown in Figure 1 (“Texas
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