What About the Children
Children growing up in domestic violence homes not only carry the baggage of violence and abuse with them, but some of them never make it to adulthood.
After 20 years of research and review, many facts about violence and children are undisputed:
• Between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness domestic violence each year.
• Recent exposure to violence in the home is a significant factor in predicting a child’s later violent behavior.
• National studies show that being abused or neglected as a child increases the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 53% and arrest for a violent crime as an adult by 38%.
• Between 45% and 70% of men who abuse their intimate partners also abuse their children.
• As many as 70% of children in battered women’s shelters have also been physically or sexually abused.
• Each year 324,000 pregnant women in the U.S. are battered.
• Men who were exposed to their parent’s violence as a child are twice as likely to abuse their own wives as sons of nonviolent partners.
Though some children are extremely resilient to the impact of family violence, many suffer profound impacts. Research demonstrates immediate or short-term impacts on many children, including: Stuttering, eating and sleeping disorders, mood swings, anxiety, fear, sadness and depression, performance problems in school, increased aggression. The long-term impacts on violence on the lives of children are also sobering:
• Eating disorders, delinquency, substance abuse and suicide.
• Deficits in social competence, school achievement and peer relations.
• Serious emotional and behavioral problems.
• Identification with the abuser by the male children by the age of 13 or 14.
• Increased likelihood by girls of accepting abuse in their adult relationships