Search
  • jaimederedita

The Effects of Family Violence

The Effects of Family Violence and The Children Next Door

Approximately one in three women and one in four men have experienced domestic violence. Mandatory lockdowns, quarantines and shelter-in-place orders meant to contain COVID-19 have created a shade pandemic of domestic abuse. When family violence touches the family, it touches everyone. Once you consider family members and children who are impacted by situations of domestic violence, it quickly becomes a problem that affects society as a whole. Children journey into adulthood and those experiences don’t dissipate, but rather manifest physically, cognitively, emotionally and psychologically. It is estimated that 3.2 million American children witness incidents of domestic violence annually. “Family violence dims the light in a system that is meant to emit a glow. ” What does family violence look like in our relationships? What does domestic violence look like in our families, friendships and communities? It is a veil of nervousness on the face of a friend as she sits across the table peering down at excessive texts from her partner. It is the flurry of perfection that follows a mother, who makes every attempt to over-manage in every way to mitigate conflict. It is the child, who witnesses and internalizes a sense of otherness and fear. It’s the parentified older sibling, who is forced to create a smoke screen, while abuse is felt through the floors. It’s the grieving parent, who shelters their child and grandchildren. Family violence is not bound by socioeconomic status. It is the children next door. 26% of women who live in a home with a household income over $100,000 per year have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. 1 in 4 women who have completed a university degree or higher (postgraduate degree) have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Family violence dims the light in a system that is meant to emit a glow. It is the slow and perpetuating process of dismantling the sense of self through physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse in the home that is used to establish power and control over another person. Children who witness domestic violence or are victims of abuse themselves are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems.2 What is Child Traumatic Stress?

  • Children who witness domestic violence or are victims of abuse themselves are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems.2

  • Child Traumatic Stress refers to the physical and emotional responses of a child to the events that threaten the life or physical integrity of the child or of someone critically important to the child (parent, sibling).

  • Traumatic events overwhelm a child’s capacity to cope and elicit fear, powerlessness and psychological arousal.

  • Trauma trickles down. When there is trauma, the parent can feel escalated and the emotions can contribute to a child’s anxiousness. Dysregulated caregivers can affect the emotional volatility of the child.

The Kaiser Ace Study allowed us to understand that our experiences as children affect our well-being in adulthood. Do I stay for the children? Do I leave for the children? Women are often confronted with this dilemma and it can guide their decision making process. There is no easy answer, however when we choose safety-we are not mislead. What we understand is that children do best in a safe, stable, loving environment, whether that’s with one parent or two. Children feel their environments and they sense tension and fear. Even if your kids don’t see you being abused, they can be negatively affected by the violence they know is happening. If you decide to leave an abusive relationship, you may be helping your children feel safer and making them less likely to tolerate abuse as they get older.15 If you decide not to leave, you can feel empowered to take steps and work with an advocate or therapist to develop safety planning.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All