How far can children be said to be affected by domestic violence? Discuss in relation to recent research in this area.

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How far can children be said to be affected by domestic violence? Discuss in relation to recent research in this area.
Olivia Prior

Introduction
The aim of this report is to highlight the fact that children are indeed affected by domestic violence, and to utilise extracts from recent research to illustrate the point. Krug et al. (2002) have observed that children who have seen the abuse of a parent are likely to display psychological and behavioural issues that a child unaffected by domestic violence would not, such as suicidal tendencies, self-esteem issues and anxiety disorders. This report will look into three main categories, the first being what children know and understand about domestic violence, which shall touch on the
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Children’s experiences

How it takes its toll on children and young people
Mullender et al. (2002) highlighted the fact that although most children manage to remain strong throughout the violence, their mothers were highly aware of the psychological and behavioural consequences it had had upon their children, such as being left with a trauma disorder (Chemtob and Carlson, 2004) along the lines of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (McCloskey and Walker, 2000). Whilst the children were able to display large amounts of ingenuity and adaptability, many children showed signs of being “withdrawn; fearful and anxiety; nightmares and disturbed sleep; becoming overly compliant or aggressive” Mullender et al. (2002, pg 78), with Thiara (2010) acknowledging that ‘selective mutism’ was another common effect that domestic violence had upon children. It was also observed that the children who dealt the least well were the ones where they have experienced longer term violence, where there was a “severe depletion of the mother’s physical and emotional resources” (Mullender et al., 2002, pg 94) and where the family had moved house many times.

Children’s decision to intervene
When children become more aware of the violence and have a better understanding, they may take it upon themselves to intervene in the violence, something more common for older children (Mullender et al., 2002). This can come in the form of verbal distractions, such as
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