18 Aug ‘Did you know?’ Thursdays
Children: The Invisible Victims of DV
The devastating effects of domestic violence on women are well documented. Far less is known about the impact on children who witness a parent or caregiver being subjected to violence (…)
The findings show that children who are exposed to violence in the home may suffer a range of severe and lasting effects. Children who grow up in a violent home are more likely to be victims of child abuse. Those who are not direct victims have some of the same behavioural and psychological problems as children who are themselves physically abused.
Children who are exposed to violence in the home may have difficulty learning and limited social skills, exhibit violent, risky or delinquent behaviour, or suffer from depression or severe anxiety. Children in the earliest years of life are particularly vulnerable: studies show that domestic violence is more prevalent in homes with younger children than those with older children.
Several studies also reveal that children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be affected by violence as adults – either as victims or perpetrators.
Children who are exposed to violence in the home are denied their right to a safe and stable home environment. Many are suffering silently, and with little support. Children who are exposed to violence in the home need trusted adults to turn to for help and comfort, and services that will help them to cope with their experiences. Far more must be done to protect these children and to prevent domestic violence from happening in the first place.
For more information, check out the 2014 ‘Behind Closed Doors The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children’, Unicef Report
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