Children and Domestic Violence
A Few Facts…
About Witnessing the violence
Over 3 million children are at risk of exposure to parental violence each year.
(Carlson, B.E. . “Children’s Observations of Interparental Violence” in Edwards, A.R. (ed.). Battered Women and Their Families. New York: Springer. pp. 147-167. 1984. )
The majority of the children from violent homes observe the violence inflicted by their fathers upon their mothers; most research suggests as many as 90 percent of children from violent homes witness their fathers battering their mothers
(Pagelow, 1990; Walker, 1984)
About the Effects of Witnessing Violence
Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property.
(Peled, Inat, Jaffe, Peter G. & Edleson, Jeffrey L. (Eds.) Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1995)
A comparison of delinquent and nondelinquent youth found that a history of family violence or abuse is the most significant difference between the two groups.
(Miller, G. “Violence By and Against America’s Children,” Journal of Juvenile Justice Digest, XVII(12) p.6. 1989)
In comparing children not exposed to violence as contrasted to children who witness violence and children who both witness and are abused, data suggest that the latter two groups are most comparable and have heightened behavioral and emotional distress as compared to the former
(Hughes et al., 1989).
Boys become aggressive, fighting with siblings and schoolmates and having temper tantrums. Girls are more likely to become passive, clinging, and withdrawn.
(Hilberman and Munson, 1977-78)