Presentation on theme: "Children Exposed to Violence"— Presentation transcript:
1 Children Exposed to Violence Caryn Brauweiler, LCSWDebbie Conley, LCSW
2 Presentation Objectives Define Children’s Exposure to ViolenceIdentify symptoms of exposure to violenceUnderstand the impact of exposure to violence on childrenHow to respond to childrenRecommendations and Resources
3 Violence is……anything that hurts or destroys any person, place or thing. Violence can be experienced in a variety of forms that can include, but is not limited to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
5 What does CEV stand for?Children’sExposureViolence
6 Exposure to Violence…means being a victim of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment; or witnessing domestic violence, community, and/or media violence or other violent crimes/events.1C2
7 Children’s Exposure to Violence Infants, toddlers, and young children are exposed to violence when they are abused or maltreated, or if they see, hear, and know others who are victimized by crimes that take place within their family, their community, or through the media.
8 What does the child SEE? HEAR? KNOW? ASK YOURSELF…What does the childSEE?HEAR?KNOW?
9 Get the Facts!Estimates show that 3-5 children in every classroom have witnessed a woman being abusedIn Chicago, studies have shown that among 500 elementary school students one in four had witnessed a shooting and one-third had seen a stabbing3 in 5 of those children who witnessed a shooting or stabbing, indicated that the incident resulted in death.More than 25% of these children had been victims of severe violence themselves-that is, they had been shot at, suffered a knife attack, or had been beaten or mugged.Data from “Exposure and Response to Community Violence among Children and Adolescents,” Esther J. Jenkins and Carl C. Bell, 1997
10 Prevalence of Violence Intentional injury to young children (0-4) is most likely to occur as a result of child abuse (and neglect)Nationally in 2002, there were over 900,000 estimated maltreated children, with more than 1,300 child fatalities80% of these children were under the age of fiveChildren witness 68-80% of domestic assaultsAccording to the NYU Child Study Center, 3 million children are diagnosed as having PTSD
11 More Facts…!38,985 (97% Women) sought shelter, 16,570 were turned away (IDHS, 1997).In 2001, state funding supported 67 domestic violence programs, serving 113,700 clients. This includes 25,700 children.Chicago Police Department receives 655 domestic calls per day (Mayors Office on Domestic Violence).
12 Types of Violence Child Abuse Domestic Violence Physical Sexual EmotionalNeglectDomestic Violence
14 Who Does Child Abuse & Neglect Affect? Child Abuse affects children from all:EthnicitiesSocioeconomic levelsReligious affiliationsCultures
15 Factors which contribute to child abuse and neglect Lack of parenting skillsParental stressFamily HardshipAlcohol and substance abuseEconomic difficulties or povertyDomestic ViolencePrevious VictimizationDepressionIt is important to remember that these factors do not cause child abuse and neglect, but contribute to it.*Lack of parenting skills – parents lack understanding of child development - unrealistic expectations of child’s behaviors.
16 Physical AbuseCharacterized by the infliction of physical injury as a result of:PunchingBeatingKickingBitingShakingBurningOr otherwise harming a child
17 Indicators of Physical Abuse Unexplained injuriesRepeated injuries such as bruises, welts or burnsUnexplained abrasions or lacerationsInjuries in various stages of healingSmall circular burnsBurns with a “doughnut” shapeDelays in obtaining medical careEspecially located on parts such as eyes, mouth, back, thighs, buttocks, genital areasInjuries appear in a regular pattern or grouped togetherCircular burns found on forearms, hands, buttocks, or soles of the feetDoughnut shaped burns- may indicate child was dipped or forced to sit in hot liquid
18 Child Neglect When a caregiver fails to provide a child with adequate: FoodClothingShelterSupervisionNeeded medical treatment
19 Indicators of Child Neglect Appears poorly nourished or inadequately clothedAppears consistently tired or listlessInconsistent attendance at schoolPoor hygieneUnable to relate well to others
20 Emotional AbuseActs that damage immediately or ultimately the behavioral, cognitive, affective or physical functioning of a child, such as:CriticizingName callingRidiculingBlamingScreamingWithholding love and affectionUnpredictable responsesDouble-message communication
21 Indicators of Emotional Abuse Clingy and forms indiscriminate attachments“Acts out” and considered a behavior problemWithdrawn, depressed, apatheticExhibits exaggerated fearfulnessBedwetting or soiling
22 Child Sexual AbuseUsing a child for the purpose of sexual needs or desires, may include:TouchingFondlingOral stimulationPenetration of genital or anal openingOften includes the use of:SecrecyBribesTricksThreatsOr other forms of coercion
23 Indicators of Sexual Abuse Sexual Behaviors of Children:Detailed and age-inappropriate understanding of sexual behaviorInappropriate, unusual, or aggressive sexual behavior with peers or toysCompulsive indiscreet masturbationExcessive curiosity about sexual matters or genitalsSeductive behavior with peers or adultsPhysical Indicators:Sexually transmitted diseasesGenital discharge or infectionTrauma or irritation to anal/genital areaPain upon urination/defecationDifficulty walking or sitting due to painPsychosomatic symptoms
24 Indicators of Sexual Abuse Behavioral Indicators in Young Children:BedwettingFecal soilingEating disturbancesFears or phobiasChange in school performanceRegressive behaviorDifficulty concentratingSleep disturbances
26 What is the Connection Between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse? Significant overlap % of families who present with partner violence also present with child abuse32% of caseloads for protective service workers involve DV50% of children who are physically abused were in the middle of an inter-parental attackWhen there is DV, look for child abuse
27 What is Domestic Violence? A pattern of coercive control that one person exercises over another.Domestic Violence is not limited to physical abuse, but also includes verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and economic abuse.(Domestic Violence Against Older Women: brochure from the Illinois Department On Aging.)
28 Types of Violence Physical Abuse pushing, punching, choking, burning, shooting, dragging, restraining, locking in the house, throwing down stairs, kicking, poking, slapping, cutting, tripping, raping, holding down, hair pulling, squeezing, suffocating, and kidnapping.(Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence – 40 Hour Training Manual)
29 Types of Violence (cont.) Sexual abuseMaking degrading sexual comments, forcing sex, assaulting breasts or genitals, forcing a partner to have sex with a third person, criticizing appearance, bragging about infidelity, forced cohabitation.(Illinois coalition Against Domestic Violence – 40 Hour training manual)
30 Types of Violence (cont.) Verbal Abusename calling, yelling, making demeaning comments, threatening, belittling, constant phone calls, actively undermining her authority with children, setting her up so that he can humiliate her in public or in front of family and friends.(Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence – 40 Hour Training Manual)
31 Types of violence (cont.) Emotional AbuseMaking threats of violence, forcing a woman to do degrading things, controlling her activities, frightening her, or using her children as leverage against her, killing a family pet, creating crisis, embarrassment, threatening to tell others about sexuality in the case of gays/lesbians.(Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence – 40 Hour Training Manual)
32 Types of Violence (Cont.) Economic Abusedestroying property, prized possessions, relatives’ property,taking her money, restricting access to household finances, withholding medical treatment, not allowing her to work or attend school, forcing her to work.(Illinois coalition Against Domestic Violence – 40 Hour Training Manual)
33 Effects of Violence on Children What Does This Mean?
34 Myths about Children Who Witness Domestic Violence Children are too young to understandThey won’t remember what happenedYou can’t help kids anyway, especially young kidsWe should just move onKids should just forget about it
35 Facts about Children Who Witness Domestic Violence All children are affected by witnessing violenceThe younger the child, the more likely they will show signs of distressChildren have more trouble under-standing and coping with violence
36 Factors Affecting Children’s Reactions to Violence IntensityProximityFamiliarityDevelopmental LevelChronicity
37 Warning Signs of Witnessing Violence Sleep DisturbancesSomatic ComplaintsIncreased Aggressive BehaviorAngry OutburstsIncreased Activity LevelHypervigilanceNumbingIncreased Separation AnxietyDistractibilityChanges in PlayWithdrawalRegressionBehavioral Changes
38 Effects on Infants and Toddlers Eating DisturbancesDevelopmental RegressionLanguage DelayAttachment DisorderAttachment DifficultiesFailure To Thrive
39 Effects on School-Aged Children Psychosomatic ComplaintsEnuresisSchool Problems/AbsenteeismBehavioral ProblemsParentificationViolenceDepressionAttachment DifficultiesChanges in PlayMay Talk About Death/Dying
40 Effects on Teenagers Antisocial Behavior Dating Violence School Problems/AbsenteeismSubstance AbuseParentificationRunning Away from HomeDepressionSuicidal Gestures/TalkRelationship Problems
41 Witnessing Violence Makes it Hard for Children to Feel Safe Children need to feel safe to:GrowBe HealthySucceedWhen children see or hear violence, they worry they will not be safe
42 Impact for future functioning Lack of trust – adults can’t protect themFeeling of powerlessness – can’t impact environmentTurning to aggressionRisk for violence in later life
43 Children’s Exposure to Violence Impact on Brain Development
44 Overview of Brain Development Infants are born with only primitive brain functionBrain development rapidly moves from less to more complex
45 Overview of Brain Development Major working unit of the brain is neuronsNeurons form into networksNetworks become systems which mediate various functions
46 Overview of Brain Development The brain system is designed to sense, perceive, process, store and act on information received from external and internal environments
47 CEV and Brain Development Threatening environments in early infancy can trigger imbalances of brain chemicalsThis can affect how genes are expressedEarly experiences + genes = biochemical foundation for a life time of intellectual, emotional, social functioning
48 Impact on Brain Development Excessive stresses caused by experiences such as abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence, can actually affect genes: they can switch them on or off at the wrong times, forcing them to build abnormal networks of brain cell connections.
49 Impacts of CEVStress and trauma can interfere with healthy brain development for very young childrenChildren may manifest symptoms related to anxiety, post-traumatic stress and attention deficit disorders
50 How to Respond to Children Exposed to Violence Address a child at eye levelUse simple, direct, age-appropriate languageHelp the child understand your role in the child’s lifeAddress confidentiality and its limitsRespect the child’s right not to talkValidate the child’s feelingsReassure the child he/she is not to blame for the violence
51 How to Respond to Parents or Caregivers Be honest and directProvide accurate informationAssure them that protecting their child is your number one priorityBe prepared for strong reactionsMake appropriate referrals for support and treatment when appropriate
53 Guidelines for Therapeutic Services Trauma informed servicesDevelopmentally appropriateCulturally sensitiveEvidenced based practice
54 Resources Safe from the Start – funded by IVPA 12 sites in Illinois Northwest Cook CountyPillars (West Suburban Cook County)Start Early, Start Right (South CookChicago Safe StartHeartland Human Care Services (North)Casa Central (West)Family Focus (South)Metropolitan Safe Start (Far south side)
55 Additional Resources LaRabida’s Chicago Child Trauma Center Chicago Children’s Advocacy CenterC-4 Counseling Centers
56 About Safe From The Start SFTS is a community response dedicated to reduce the trauma of exposure to violence in children ages 0-5 in the communities of Northwest suburbs.New program, focus = ages 0-5, IVPA/legislators realized the need to focus on this age group- earlier the intervention the better…Not many program specifically focused on this age group-specialized in 0-5New.. Exciting!Coalition devel. Police, dcfs, etc….
57 Safe From The Start Services Specialized AssessmentIntensive Case ManagementTherapeutic ServicesCommunity Education and Violence PreventionProfessional ConsultationCommunity education presentation topics include:Bullying, dv, media violence, keeping kids safe, and others…
58 How to Contact Us Safe From The Start (630)540-0549 Mention brochures handed out to everyone, take lots of copies and distribute them throughout your community!!Safe From The Start(630)