Family or domestic violence can have tragic consequences on all those involved. However, children exposed to domestic violence are often the most negatively affected by domestic violence and they frequently show symptoms of psychological and emotional trauma. It is estimated that at least one in every three women have been or will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime (http://therapistfinder.net /Domestic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Crisis-Hotlines.html). Furthermore, physical violence is estimated to occur in four to six million intimate relationships every year in the United States (http://therapistfinder.net/Domestic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Crisis-Hotlines.html). It is next to impossible to get totally accurate rates on domestic violence because many cases go unreported due to inconsistency in police reports, inconsistency in what is defined as domestic violence, and general lack of police intervention (http://therapistfinder.net/Domestic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Crisis-Hotlines.html). It is estimated that women make up three-fourths of the victims of homicide by an intimate partner; in all actuality, 33% of all women who are murdered are murdered by a current or former boyfriend or husband (http://therapistfinder.net /Domestic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Crisis-Hotlines.html). In addition, black women, women aged 16 to 24, and women of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to be abused by a partner than all other races, ages, and social classes of women (http://therapistfinder.net/Domestic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Crisis-Hotlines.html).
Since many of the women who are victims of abuse have children, the children often witness their mothers suffering terrible forms of abuse. In addition, it is estimated that between 53% and 70% of male batterers also frequently abuse their children, which increases the child’s involvement in the abusive situation and subsequent negative effects (Volpe, 1996). The consequences of this are...
References: Margolin, G. & Gordis, E.B. (2000). The effects of family and community violence on children. Annual Review of Psychology, Annual, p. 445-487.
Song, L., Singer, M.I., & Anglin, T.M. (1998). Violence exposure and emotional trauma as contributors to adolescents’ violent behaviors. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 152, p. 531-537.
Therapist finder website. Retrieved on December 3, 2003 from http://therapistfinder.net/Domestic-Violence/Domestic-Violence-Crisis- Hotlines.html.
Volpe, J.S. (1996). Effects of domestic violence on children and adolescents: an overview. The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.
Werner, B.S. & Weist, M.D. (1996). Urban youth as witnesses to violence: beginning assessment and treatment efforts. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 25, p. 361- 378.
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