Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

What About the Kids?

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), the following is true:

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. [source]
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. [source]
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women. [source]
  • Historically, females are victimized by someone they knew. [source]
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. [source]
  • Most cases of domestic violence are NEVER reported to the police. [source]

Domestic Violence Defined

According to the NCADV, domestic violence is:

..the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime. [source]

But What About the Kids?

Of the various cases of domestic violence that occur each year, there are countless children who witness these acts of violence being committed against one or both of their parents. According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV),

  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
  • 30 percent to 60 percent of perpetrators of intimate partner violence ALSO ABUSE CHILDREN IN THE HOUSEHOLD. [source]

It is important to remember that in households where domestic violence is present, often times, children are physically abused and neglected at a rate 15 times higher than the national average [source]. And even in homes where children aren’t physically abused, witnessing the abuse of other family members can have a devastating effect on that child’s life as well as their development into adulthood. In an October 2005 report prepared by the Child Well-Being and Domestic Violence Project and Prevent Child Abuse NC, reported that in the state of North Carolina, child abuse may be occurring when a parent, guardian, caretaker or custodian of a child under the age of 18:

  • Inflicts or allows someone else to inflict upon the child a serious physical injury by other than accidental means;
  • Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of serious physical injury to the child by other than accidental means; or
  • Creates or allows to be created serious emotional damage to the child.

Recognizing Child Abuse

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the following are a few signs that parents, caregivers and others should look for to help determine whether or not a child is being abused or neglected [source]:


  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention
  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go


  • Shows little concern for the child
  • Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home
  • Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
  • Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
  • Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
  • Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs

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