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Effects of Domestic Violence on Children - Essay Example

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Domestic violence has affected children mentally, psychologically and socially. Disturbing statistics has shown that about four million children in the United States experience domestic violence yearly. …
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Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
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Download file to see previous pages In Australia, 75,000 to 640,000 children get exposure to domestic violence. An Australian study showed that up to 40% of chronically violent teenagers have exposure to extreme domestic violence. These statistics become of great concern when viewed globally. Under these circumstances, children grow up in a very violent environment where they witness the physical abuse that their parents inflict on each other. Furthermore, they hear the fighting noises and threats from their parents. They observe the results of the violent acts such as bloodshed, torn clothing, bruises, tears as well as broken items. This paper seeks to show the effects of domestic violence on children. Psychological effects of domestic violence Children who get exposed to such acts of violence normally develop unnecessary fear and anxiety. They are always waiting for the next violence. They fear that any slight argument may lead to violence. As such, they do not feel safe in the home since they do not know what will trigger the next violence. They also feel powerless and worthless since they wish they could help, but they are not able to do so. It is this feeling of worthlessness that works against their self esteem. These children feel obliged to safeguard the family secrets. They, therefore, restrain themselves from exposing such secrets to outsiders (Zeck, 1993). For this reason, they look cool and composed from outside even when they are going through the toughest psychological torment. They do not seek help from out of fear of revealing the family secrets. Moreover, such children feel vulnerable and isolated. In some instances, they take the blame for the violence since they think that they are the cause. They grow up without the primary needs of a child such as attention, approval and affection. In such cases, mothers are normally busy trying to keep themselves safe and survive in a violent environment. They, therefore, forget their maternal role to the children. Fathers, on the other hand, struggle to seek control of everyone and forget their paternal role in the upbringing of their children. The children feel psychologically and physically abandoned. Emotional response to domestic violence in children Children may exhibit varied emotional responses to the domestic violence that they continually witness. Such response may include shame, fear, sleep disturbance, guilt, anger, depression among others. Moreover, such a child may also be affected physically by headache, stomachache, loss of concentration and bedwetting. Physical injuries may also come as a result of the struggle in an attempt to intervene during the violence (Gioia & Sims, 1983). Children who experience domestic violence also exhibit a number of behavioral changes in response to the violence. Such change in behavior includes anxiety to pleasing, throwing tantrums as well as withdrawal. This, in effect, affects their school attendance and performance. The children may also exhibit delay in growth and development. This includes developmental delays such as speech and cognitive skills. The children may also assume violence as a means of self expression and defense. They display increased force and aggression towards their peers. This makes their social lives harder since they are not able to socialize with people. Another adverse effect of domestic violence on children is compensation. In many cases, the children take care of their parents injured in domestic violence as well as their younger siblings. This way, they take up adult roles that are far above their ability. Consequently, there is a delay in the child’s emotional and physical development (Daly, Speedy &Jackson, 2004). Long term Effects of Domestic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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