Connections Of Domestic Violence To Violence Against Children
The children were tied up and face down on their beds when police found them. They were just three and five years old. The 41-year old mother had a history of violent relationships, and possibly mental illness as well. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) had interacted with the family for years, but multiple services had been denied. Now it’s too late.
The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children
Without question incidents of domestic violence do have an impact on children. There are prolific studies documenting the harmful effects of living with domestic violence and the significant connections to lower self-esteem, eating and sleep disorders, and PTSD :
- Social/emotional impacts: Kids who are exposed to violence at home tend to experience greater incidents of aggression and disobedience themselves, in addition to depression and anxiety. Children may act out in hostile ways or may withdraw and build walls around themselves. Often, they have unhealthy connections with siblings, peers, teachers, and others. In some situations, kids suffer the further strain of being told to keep the violence a secret from teachers or other adults who may suspect problems at home.
- Attachment Issues: When infants live with violence, they sometimes have a hard time attaching to their caregivers, and sometimes even develop a “failure to thrive.”
- Cognitive Issues: Children who live with violence suffer from lower levels of cognitive function and resulting reduced school performance.
- Attitude and Social Skills: These children frequently have little or no skills when it comes to conflict resolution or problem solving, and often are moored in strict gender stereotypes.
- Enduring Issues: Children who grew up with violence frequently experience a greater tolerance of violence as adults, along with depression and anxiety. Violence becomes a tool to use in their own teen and adult lives when they are frustrated.
When the Violence Seeps to the Kids
One study revealed some startling statistics: domestic violence occurred in homes in over 40 percent of cases where children were seriously injured or killed. In some cases, perpetrators are intentional in the harming of children, and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse occurs through intimidation, manipulation, and outright violence. Other times, children are caught in the crosshairs of violence, injured as one parent holds them, or as the child tries to intervene to protect a parent, or perhaps as thrown objects explode through the living area. Whatever the situation, the tragedy of violence against children is very real.
Get Help Now
If you are living in a violent situation, you should know that domestic violence is not your fault, and you deserve better. So do your children. At the Law Office of Julia Kefalinos, our dedicated and experienced Miami domestic violence attorneys are here to help. Contact our office for a confidential consultation today.