Annotated Bibliography: Domestic Violence and Its Effects on Children

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Annotated Bibliography: Domestic Violence and its effects on Children

Groves, B.M. (1999). Mental Health Services for Children Who Witness Domestic Violence. The Future of Children, 9(3), 122-132. This article provides a good introduction for practitioners working with children who witness family violence. The article summarizes the effects domestic violence can have on children such as; aggressiveness, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and sleep deprivation. The author stresses the importance of proper identification and assessment of children exposed to domestic violence. There are four goals of intervention described in this article: reducing the child’s sense of isolation, helping children to understand their emotional responses to violence, reducing the symptoms that children experience (e.g. nightmares) and working with the family to develop a safe and nurturing environment for the child. Then there are therapeutic approaches such as group therapy which are discussed. The article states that an advantage of group work is that it breaks the child’s sense of isolation and allows children to identify with each other. In conclusion, the article discusses the challenges facing practitioners in this area. The first is addressing the possibility of concurrent child abuse or neglect and the second is meeting the complex emotional needs of the child client and his/her family. Silvern, L. & Kaersvang, L. (1989). The Traumatized Children of Violent Marriages. Child Welfare, 68(4), 421-435. The article presents very specific views of treatment for children who witness family violence. In the introduction, the authors state "This article hypothesizes that traumatization underlies the difficulties these children experience…interventions should be designed to counteract post-traumatic disorders" (p.422). The authors begin by defining the emotions experienced during the traumatic event of witnessing parental violence. These feelings include fear,...