The Impact That Domestic Violence Has On Kids
For years domestic violence has been a part of everyday life for some children in the United States. The fact of the matter is that long after the violence has ended, the long-lasting impact continues to have its place in the lives of those who are victims of domestic violence. According to Stop Violence Against Women, every 9 seconds, a woman is being beaten or assaulted, domestic violence is the leading cause of violent crimes against women, and most of the violence is caused by a family member. In the United States, a woman is more likely to be abused by her husband or boyfriend, and children who witness abuse are twice as likely to be abusers themselves or accept abuse as the way life has to be. The effect on children is the main topic of this paper as how it impacts their lives long after the violence stops; the goal is to open the eyes of society to allow them to see how we have to take care of the children of domestic violence. The children will suffer from different types of issues, emotional, psychological, and social just to name a few. Children who live with domestic violence face increased risks: the risk of exposure to traumatic events, the risk of neglect, the risk of being directly abused, and the risk of losing one or both of their parents. All of these may lead to negative outcomes for children and may affect their well-being, safety, and stability (Carlson, 2000; Edleson, 1999; Rossman, 2001). I want to inform readers of how domestic violence has caused chaos in the lives of children and how they are affected, and how we can recognize the symptoms when something is wrong. I furthermore would like to make aware to those who are suffering in silence there is no need to do so; there are many organizations that will help you physically, mentally, and emotionally work through your problems. My main goal of this paper is to inform the reader that the effects of domestics violence are lasting and cause decadents and pain far beyond the years that the violence has ended and to let the victims know that there is a rest haven for them and they can talk about their problems and get healing. I will share some of my personal experiences on domestic violence impacted me and my siblings. The alternative way my mother was able to help us recover and somewhat heal from the violence we saw from her abuser. The paper will have a varied wide range of emotions that will come through the writing, the stories, the reactions, and the laws that were created due to domestic violence.
The emotional impacts of domestic violence on children affect their thinking and how they react to certain situations. There are two areas that I will approach, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression. PSTD is a mental health disorder that recalls traumatic events that cause flashbacks, anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the events. The coping mechanisms are difficult for individuals who have PSTD. The effect that PSTD have on children of domestic violence has been well documented in how they react to the sociable situation.
Depression is more of a reoccurring role of prolonged sadness, temporary sadness, unexplained crying, loss of appetite, fluctuating weight, and loss of interest in activities that seemed to have been enjoyed in the past. Domestic violence affects the thought process of those who have witnessed or been abused. Children normally act out and are abusive to other children or disrespectful to the parent who is being abused; later in the paper, I will deal with parent-child interaction in a domestic violence atmosphere. (joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/domestic-violence)
The emotional impact of domestic violence leads to social deficiencies and affects society in many ways. The first thing I want to address is how children of domestic violence interact with others; the violence that is witnessed becomes how they react to everything. The social impact of domestic violence trickles through every fibre of our social existence. Domestic violence is a worldwide issue. Here are statistics and facts given globally on domestic violence. Domestic violence is not limited to a particular country or region – it is a global phenomenon. A 10-country study by the World Health Organization revealed that between 15% and 71% of women in the countries surveyed, which included nations as diverse as Japan, Ethiopia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Brazil, had experienced domestic violence. Studies in Uganda, Chile, and Nicaragua estimated domestic violence prevalence rates of 59%, 41%, and 53%, respectively, in those countries. (www.stopvaw.org), 2011, (Community Cost of Domestic Violence). The cost that domestic violence accumulated in America in 2003 was 5.8 billion for prosecution, treatment, prevention programs, and legislation, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Health care, human and social services, and the legal system all see an increase in cost due to domestic violence. Here is a brief synopsis of how it happens, due to domestic violence, abused women from below-poverty areas go to the hospital with no health insurance to be treated, which drives up health care. The abused women have to leave with the children, and she has no income; therefore, she has to get on public assistance, i.e. welfare, Medicare, food stamps and housing, which come from our tax dollars. The legal goes up when prosecutors have to open cases on domestic violence, and the abused decides not to follow through with the charges, which causes legislation to create laws that exclude the victim from the decision to file. The emotional and social impact of domestic violence and its impact on children is vast, and we have just begun our journey. We may not have caused or even lived in a domestic violent atmosphere, but you can see how we are all affected one way or another by domestic violence.
The Solution: There is Help through Family Counseling
The solution to solving the long-term impact of domestic violence might seem to be dimmed for the victims, but I am here to tell you there is help. I believe healing is in counselling. I have done research on this paper, and the fact of talking and getting to the core of the issue is the answer is talking out what victims are feeling. The most striking part of the counselling for me was the family counselling. Here are a few ways family counselling is segmented, small children, adolescents, young adults, parent and child interaction, and family counselling. I stated that family counselling was the most striking or intriguing to me for personal reasons. When the family stops hiding their emotions and really opens up to each other and the abused or the abuser, healing can begin. I believe that the whole family has tube healed in order for the process to really work. The family will be stronger; when they can be healed together, and it gives them a better understanding of what the other person is feeling; we suffered together; let’s heal together. The difference between these types of counselling versus the other types of counselling is the fact family counselling allows a true emotional cleansing in front of everyone involved. Family counselling can get ugly, but it has its advantages.
Family members are more open than a stranger and will have an unbiased person to help them walk their way o healing. I wish my family would look into getting counselling and talking out what we were feeling during the abuse and what we are experiencing now, and we all were individually affected by the abuse. I have seen my siblings and myself affected by the violence and how it has carried on into our adulthood. I can honestly say that, although we have coped and made it through, there are still some issues that we have and yet addressed. I will share my effects and the long-lasting impact on my life further in the paper. I mentioned why I believe that family counselling is the best way to counsel domestic violence. Here are some facts to support my stance on combating the lasting effects of domestic violence on children. Families are really torn apart physically by this type of violence. The truth of how the family is the most important type of domestic violence counselling is shown in the chart below how; abused families are the highest percentage of occupants which is 36% in the homeless shelter in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Figure 1: relates to how the housing issue can be traced to domestic violence
The United Way, in an article, gives a strategy on how they are combating domestic violence when it comes to families that have been displaced due to domestic
violence. United Way’s Housing First strategy helps families achieve a stable housing situation before and while addressing the other issues that contributed to their homelessness. Housing First works to end family homelessness by giving families the tools to avoid or leave the emergency shelter system by providing intensive case management, financial counselling, and building landlord/tenant connections to prevent eviction. This year, 2,100 Dane County at-risk families will maintain their housing stability thanks to United Way housing. (www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/2011/12/a-safety-story/) Christine Dellahauser, a contributor to the article, states,” Based on our Housing First model, we are investing in a special program to provide women, and their children, who are survivors of domestic violence, homeless or in need of housing to flee a domestic violence situation a safe and stable place to call home.”
The Benefits of Family Counseling
In family counselling, the benefits are vast and direct. The benefits of family counselling cover a lot of ground but help the family members individually. The counsellor facilitates open conversations, which allows the issue to be the main focus of the topic, and when the communication gets heated, the counsellor can redirect focus back to the topic. Family therapy gives every individual a chance to talk; everyone is heard. The main focus of this is to get down to what is the real problem. Once the problem has been discovered, the counsellor will open dialogue, which allows them to grasp the root of the problem and will offer solutions that will cause the family to heal. ( http://www.familycounsellingcentre.ca/the-benefits-of-family-counselling.html), 2014 Family Counseling Resources. The family actually covers parent-child interaction and all types of domestic counselling when it comes to age, gender and all types of family dynamics. It would be my suggestion to seek family counselling for those who are victims of domestic violence. The family has to heal together from the traumatic experience. Family counselling does three things for the family, Identify the problem, open dialogue, offer solutions, and aftercare to help the family benefit from counselling. Family counselling can save the country in so many areas. Just look at how it affects the housing situation in Dane County, Wisconsin; earlier, I spoke on how domestic violence affects every facet of society and how it trickles down to our tax dollars. In 1987 50% of the women and children were homeless due to domestic violence. To give a better view, I will explain how it affects every child during the stages of them growing up in an abusive environment. In the prenatal stage, an abused woman is more like to suffer a miscarriage, or the child can be born with a birth defect; in infants, there is excessive crying, developmental delays (walking, crawling, and talking), and sometimes neglect by the mother. Toddlers can be more aggressive or withdrawn or clingy to other children, and they also have developmental delays. Elementary have poor grades and begin bullying, bedwetting, nightmares, digestive problems, and begin lying. Teenagers and young adults suffer all of the symptoms that the previous four age groups suffer from. The teenager will become involved in helping the abused mother fight her abuser or just run away altogether and get into all kinds of trouble. (www.the-ripple-effect.info/pdf/agespecificeffects.pdf) 1998, The Ripple Effect. As you can see that the whole family is affected by domestic violence from the womb on up to young adulthood, I have given you compelling evidence of why the family has to be treated if there is ever going to be true healing. I am speaking from personal experience. I can remember hearing my mother cry when she was getting abused; I also can remember being angry with her for staying with her abuser. I took that anger with me for a long time and wanted to kill the guy that was abusing my mother. I am a very dominant person because of the violence I saw; I promised I would never hit a woman in my life, and no one would ever abuse me like he treated my mother. I hated him. My mother eventually left the guy and grew closer spiritually to God, and we were able to heal through my mother’s determination to get and keep us grounded in prayer and in the Lord; we were able to cope. One of my sisters actually needed professional counselling to talk about what she saw, how it was affecting her and what she was feeling, and why she was acting out in school, so I can relate to what the researchers were saying about how the ripple effect trickled down through the family, and it goes into society. We heal the family, we heal society, and we save taxpayers money from the effects of domestic violence.
I would employ anyone who reads this paper to understand that we have to heal and treat domestic violence as a black eye in our society that we cannot afford. I have shown you how it affects society on all levels, economically, socially and through legislation of the laws to combat this violent act against women and children. I wrote about the impact on children because if we don’t stop violence while they are children, the vicious cycle continues, and we will continue to spend billions of dollars on abuse when we could actually be putting that money to good use, like providing a free college education for all of our bright young minds. Let’s save the children and stop domestic VIOLENCE!!!!!!!!!!!
Carlson, 2000; Edleson, 1999; Rossman, 2001 www.domesticviolence.org
Dellahauser Christine, 2011 United Way Housing Strategy www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/2011/12/a-safety-story/
Family Counseling Resources, 2014
Joyful Heart Foundation, 2009, DomesticViolence http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/domestic-violence/effects-domestic-violence
National Alliance on Mental Illness, via rainn.org, “Dissociative Identity Disorder,” (2000). www.nami.org. – See more at: ttp://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/domestic- violence/effects-domestic-violence#sthash.TVvdt8Mk.dpuf
Stop Violence Against Women, 2011, “Cost of Domestic Violence” http://www.stopvaw.org/community_costs_of_domestic_violence
The Ripple Effect, 1998
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The Impact That Domestic Violence Has On Kids
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