Child Exposure to Domestic Violence
January 14, 2015
One major issue that is a concern in the United States is in regards to our children and them being exposed to domestic violence. It is not really seen or understood what the children are going through and how they are affected when domestic violence in the home takes place. There is major damage that takes place with some children. We don’t know how it is being handled and what help a child is given when it happens to them.
The content of the video on “Child exposure to Domestic Violence” was a personal crime. We need to understand what the definition of “personal crime” is: “rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, assault, purse snatching and pocket picking. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). Some think that domestic violence is a person crime. Also, many do not see that verbal abuse is considered domestic violence, but a verbal assault could be just as damaging as a domestic assault when it comes to a child. A 2008 national survey of 4,549 children ages’ birth to 17, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that 6.2% of American children were exposed to Domestic Violence in the past year. The same survey also found that 16.3% of children of all ages were exposed to Domestic Violence since birth. Additionally, of older children - those 14 to 17 years of age - over a third (27%) reported they were exposed to Domestic Violence in their lifetime (Finkelhor, Turner, Ormrod & Hamby, 2009).
Recent meta-analyses -- statistical analyses that synthesize and average effects across studies -- have shown that children exposed to domestic violence exhibit significantly more problems than children that were not exposed (Kitzmann, Gaylord, Holt & Kenny, 2003; Wolfe, Crooks, Lee, McIntyre-Smith & Jaffe, 2003). We have the most information on behavioral and emotional functioning of children exposed to domestic violence. Generally, studies using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983) and similar measures have found children exposed to domestic violence, when compared to non-exposed children, exhibit more aggressive and antisocial (often called "externalized" behaviors) as well as fearful and inhibited behaviors ("internalized" behaviors), show lower social competence and have poorer academic performance. Kitzmann et al. (2003) also found that exposed children scored similarly on emotional health measures to children who were physically abused or who were both physically abused and exposed to adult domestic violence.
It does not take for the children to be intentionally hurt or physically abused for them to be affected. Children that see someone being abused could affect him or her in the long run. Close to 50 percent of men who abuse women are abusive towards their own children or children living with them. It is not just men that are the abusers but women as well. Those cases are not reported as much as a man abusing a woman but it happens a lot more than we think. It is not just men abusing their children but women doing the same thing. Society doesn’t want to see women as being violent towards their children, but women are the main ones in this day and age. Even when the child is not the main target of the abuse they are or can still be injured, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.
Some people do not think exposure to domestic violence can impact children’ but the affect can branch out to a child’s educational social, emotional and behavioral growth. Every child reacts differently and it varies from case to case. Each child may act out in different ways; some may become bullies or withdraw from family, friends and society. It might take years for a child to show sign of...
References: Finkelhor, D.; Turner, H.; Ormrod, R. & Hamby, S.L. (2009). Violence, abuse and crime exposure in a national sample of children and youth. Pediatrics, 124, 1411-1423.
Kitzmann, K.M., Gaylord, N.K., Holt, A.R., & Kenny, E.D. (2003). Child witnesses to domestic violence: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 339-352
Achenbach, T.M., & Edelbrock, C. (1983). Manual for the child behavior checklist and revised child behavior profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.
Bateman, T. (2011) Domestic violence and children, University of phoenix, retrieved
from: University library digital.films.com
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