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Policy Issues Child Exposure To Domestic Violence

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Many parents seemed to have forgotten the impact that domestic violence has on a child. A big impact is that of being exposed to domestic violence at an early age, also the effect that domestic observation has on an individual and his character. Character flaws can impact a child into his adolescent years and also affect his decision making skills in adult years. I have seen the result of a child who has been a part of a domestic violence family and home. The mind frame which an adolescent is permanently damaged with is not a healthy one. The learned behavior that a male or female carry on becomes an unhealthy cycle. It is too often that adults don’t realize that the major victim to domestic violence is the innocent child who lives the domestic violence environment. For example, young preschool children witnessing domestic violence has a negative effect on the development of preschool. There is a discrepancy between exposed and non-exposed children in cognitive ability as well as externalizing and internalizing behavior problems.

When a child witnesses this violence, their trust is broken and they often show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. There is a chance for children to show resilience in the face of witnessing this violence. There are numerous physical and emotional effects domestic violence may bring to a child. Children living in a home where domestic violence is present are linked to many different emotional problems. Some emotional problems noted in the literature are emotional distress, fear of being alone, sleep disturbances, and being emotionally distant (Holt, 2008). It has been my experience as a police officer to often make multiple visits to one home. I may have arrested a father or mother for domestic violence and down the road arrest one of their children for the offense. Positive parenting, re-establishing trust, and being attuned to children’s emotions can play a big role in diminishing the harmful effects of this trauma. The parent-child relationship must be focused on in order to help a child come through this disturbance.

It is a sad fact; however, children in the United States have witnessed some form of physical violence between their parents.Due to in increasing number of criminal activity within families, I believe that domestic violence is often over looked. Domestic violence is not only violence between adult intimate partners, but also includes children as well. Sometimes abuse goes too far. Couples have problems but they can at times cross the line into abuse. Abuse has many synonyms such as family violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, and finally domestic violence. Overall, the presence of violence within families disrupts family normalcy and as a result, threatens the social institution of family (aaets, 2013). In addition, power and control is more often about men’s power and control of women which usually is the catalyst for many women to remain with the abuser. Domestic Violence isn’t just hitting, or fighting, or an occasional mean argument.

It’s a chronic abuse of power. The abuser tortures and controls the victim by calculated mental, verbal and physical abuse. In order to decrease the prevalence of domestic violence, researchers must raise awareness about the effects to children, identify ways to create a positive child-raising environment, and recommend ways to improve current programs aimed at decreasing domestic violence. There are many obstacles remaining which are preventing improvement of the standard as well the definition of violence. For clarity in its prevention, a definition of domestic violence must be established. Observations of various studies and reports solidify confusion on the subject which calls for need of better efforts of protection and awareness from the women who are victims. In addition I would also like to include that law ignorance and education also have a major impact on domestic violence. Many foreigners arrive to the United States and at times do not realize what type of crime they are committing and who they are victimizing.

American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.aaets.org

Holt, S., Buckley, H., Whelan, S. (2008). The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and young people: a review of the literature. Child Abuse Negl.

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