Domestic violence against children is a serious problem that can have long-lasting effects on the victims. No violence against children is justifiable. Family should be a place where children can get all the love they deserve and they are supposed to be protected from all harm. When they are living with parents that can’t give them that, they can’t do anything as they don’t have a choice.
There are many types of domestic violence against children, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. All forms of domestic violence against children can have lasting consequences for the victim. Children who witness domestic violence are also affected. They may feel scared, confused, and helpless. They may also blame themselves for the violence.
If you suspect that a child is a victim of domestic violence, it is important to get help. Many organizations can help children and families affected by domestic violence.
Domestic violence can have a range of negative consequences for children. Children who witness or are victims of domestic violence may experience a range of short- and long-term consequences. Children’s responses to the trauma of witnessing domestic abuse may vary according to a multitude of factors including, but not limited to, age, race, sex, and stage of development.
- They may feel scared, confused, and helpless.
- They may also blame themselves for the violence.
- May have long-lasting effects on the victims.
- Can lead to injuries, chronic health problems, and even death.
- Can cause physical injuries, long-term psychological damage, and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Damages a child’s self-esteem and self-worth, and leads to depression and anxiety.
Research suggests that children who witness or are victims of domestic violence can suffer a range of short- and long-term consequences. These can include physical, emotional, behavioral, and social problems.
Physical consequences: Children who are exposed to domestic violence may experience a range of physical health problems. These can include headaches, stomachaches, bedwetting, and sleep problems. They may also have difficulty concentrating and keeping up with schoolwork. Physical abuse can lead to injuries, chronic health problems, and even death.
Sexual abuse can cause physical injuries, long-term psychological damage, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Emotional consequences: Children who witness or are victims of domestic violence may experience a range of emotions, including fear, guilt, shame, and confusion. They may feel anxious, depressed, or angry. They may have low self-esteem and poor social skills. They may also behave in aggressive or violent ways towards others.
Behavioral consequences: Children may engage in risky behaviors, such as using drugs and alcohol, skipping school, running away from home, and self-harming. They may also have difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships with others.
Social consequences: Children who witness domestic violence may have social problems. They may withdraw from friends and activities they enjoy. They may be bullied at school. They may also have difficulty trusting people, including authority figures such as police and teachers.
The Scale of the Problem
Domestic violence against children is a serious problem that affects millions of children each year. In the United States, an estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
Worldwide, an estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. While boys can be victims of domestic violence, girls are much more likely to be affected. 94% of all victims of child sexual abuse are girls. Childhood domestic violence is not just a problem in developed countries. An estimated 100 million girls worldwide are married before they turn 18 years old. These child marriages often involve domestic violence.
Risk Factors for Children and Adolescents
Many risk factors make children and adolescents more likely to be victims of domestic violence. Some of these risk factors include:
- Having a parent who was abused as a child
- Having a parent with a substance abuse problem
- Having a parent with mental health problems
- Living in poverty
- Being exposed to community violence
- Having parents who are separated or divorced
Preventing Domestic Violence Against Children
Many things can be done to prevent domestic violence against children. You can talk to the child’s parents about the issue and offer support. You can also contact your local child protective services agency or the police. If you would like to learn more about how you can prevent domestic violence against children, there are many resources available. Some of these things include:
- Strengthening laws and policies to protect children from domestic violence
- Providing support to families affected by domestic violence
- Educating children and adults about domestic violence
- Promoting positive parenting practices
You can also visit the website of the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org.