How Domestic Violence Affects Children

2071 Words Apr 30th, 2012 9 Pages
How Domestic Violence Affects Children
It has been well documented that children exposed to domestic violence suffer many forms of trauma, particularly children who witness violence inflicted by one parent on the other parent. To begin, Domestic Violence is typically not about one incident of actual violence but a sustained pattern of abusive behaviors and attitudes that may escalate over time. Threatening words and gestures become part of a pervasive atmosphere of fear. The intimidation is frequently life threatening. (Groves 2006) It is called domestic because it involves a family, a home or household, or a partner. It could be any member of the family or household that is practicing the violent behavior. Either way, the children
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Imagine the hurt and shame a child would feel that is being beaten. Confusion as to why this is happening would probably be at the front of the child’s mind. They don’t know that the domestic violence perpetrator may abuse the child as part of their violence against their partner or to control him or her. (Radford & Hester, 2006) This could prove to be fatal for the child. One factor that has been found to be closely related to juvenile aggression is the quality of the interactions among family members. Research indicates that violent interactions within the family encourage subsequent aggression and violence, not only within the family, but also in other social contexts. (Elrod & Ryder, 2011)
Next to be discussed are the emotional problems that domestic violence can create. Many juveniles will blame themselves for what is happening in their home. They believe that if they somehow could just act a little better or be a little more helpful, everything will get better. They feel guilty that they can’t protect the battered parent. They are very disturbed by the conflict of love and hate that they feel toward the parent that is battering. They deal with constant sadness and feelings that they are unworthy. These children are very cautious and worried because they don’t know when the next act of violence will occur. Exposed children may become nervous, and fidgety. Sensitiveness to
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