Presentation on theme: "Children and Domestic Violence"— Presentation transcript:
1 Children and Domestic Violence The Long Lasting Impact of a Batterer’s Pattern of Coercive Control
2 Goals of this Presentation: Improve assessment for presence of patterns of coercive control and impact on children.Develop strategies to engage batterer and support non-offending parent’s safety planning. (traditional vs. non-traditional safety planning)Learn ways to identify family strengths and promote resiliency.How does DV get identified?How are families identified?How much are you looking for pattern of a coercive control in families to inform your treatment plan?
3 As a provider, how many families have you worked with that have been affected by DV? Can you describe the patterns that you noticed in the family?How many of you have had direct contact with the batterer?Can you describe that experience?
4 What is Domestic Violence ? How was it? Did you find difficult to identify a controlling behavior? What stood out the most?
5 Defining Domestic Violence A pattern of coercive control perpetrated by one person against another in an intimate relationship.It’s ongoing, personal (privileges access)Extends through social spaceMicro management----- examine every single move one makes –walking on egg shellsIt affects the family functioningIt happens in same sex relationships and heterosexual85% of victims of intimate partner violence were against women (Bureau of Justice Statistics,2003)90% of transient women are homeless due to the abuse
6 ObviousPhysical assaultThreats to bodily harmKidnappingStalkingSexual assaultSubtleName callingThreatening to use the court and DCF to take away children*Outing someone to their relativesTelling liesThrowing out birth control pillsControlling financesCheatingKeeping weapons in the houseHiding passportsControlling access to phone and carRestricted mobility
8 What are the implications of the batterer’s pattern of coercive control on children for treatment? Children living with DV are at risk for increased or emotional and behavioral problems.Children may be identified with “Serious Emotional Disorders” and placed in special education classrooms.Early identification of difficulties can lead to earlier and more effective support and intervention for children and their families.Refer to statistics handout.
9 Children Exposed to Coercive Control/Violence: Watching, hearing or later learning about a parent being abused (by a partner) threatens children’s sense of stability and security typically provided by their family.Children learn that violence in the home is how to deal with conflict.Impacts gender roles:Being a man means you can use violence against a woman.Being a woman means being a victim.
10 ThemesAmbivalent feelings toward the abusive parent and non-offending parentThere’s nosafe placeAdults cannot protect themselves or their childrenTakes on the responsibility of protecting the victimThere’s no safe placeAdults can not protect themselves or their childrenThe child takes on the responsibility of protecting the victimThe child has ambivalent feelings toward the abusive parent and non-offending parentChronic fear leads to aggressionChronic fear leads to aggression
11 Risks Posed to Children By Exposure to Batterers’ Pattern of Coercive Control Exposure to threats and/or acts of violence.Undermining mother-child relationships.Talking negatively to the children about the abused parent’s behavior.Physical and/or sexual abuse by batterer.Batterer as a role model.Rigid or authoritarian parenting.Elaborate on each point, provide examples. Ask if audience has examples of each of these?
12 Risks Posed to Children By Exposure to Batterers’ Pattern of Coercive Control Neglectful or irresponsible parenting.Not being willing to have children involved in treatment; interfering with treatment.Psychological abuse and manipulation.Children’s bad behavior being used as the reason for the assault of the non-offending parent.Using children as a weapon.Holding the children hostage in an effort to punish the victim.Exposure to violence in their Father’s new relationships.Same as in last slide.
13 Impact of Batterer’s Pattern of Coercive Control at Different Developmental Stages
14 Implications for Treatment Infants and ToddlersDevelopmentImpactImplications for TreatmentTake in information from world around them.Form secure attachments.Active explorers of their world and learn through play.Learn about social interaction and relationships.Loud noises and vivid images can be distressing.Inconsistency responding to infants needs, effecting the parent-child bond.Fear and instability may inhibit exploration and play.Learn about aggression by observing others.Prevention programs:Parent Aid ProgramsBirth to ThreeHead StartParenting ClassesFatherhood initiativesChild Development education.Treatment plans that involve both parents with equal involvement in responsible parenting.Signs to look for when you begin working with families:Importance of parent child interactions.Looking at both parents not just non-offending parent.Taking collaborative information from parents (are children up to date medically, is it equality in parenting?) Who takes the child to medical apts?
15 Implications for Treatment School Age ChildrenDevelopmentImpactImplications for TreatmentIncreased emotional awareness of self and others.Complexity in thinking about right and wrong.Academic and social success has an impact on self-concept.Increase in same sex identification.Awareness of own reactions to violence at home and impact on others.Susceptible to adopting rationalizations heard to justify violence.Inhibits ability to learn.Intervention programs:Family therapyMentoring programsBehavioral Mod TechniquesPeer socializationPlay therapyTreatment plans that involve both parents with equal involvement in responsible parenting.Concerns about mother’s safety, father being arrested.
16 Implications for Treatment AdolescenceDevelopmentImpactImplications for TreatmentIncreased autonomyPuberty (physical changes)Increased capacity for abstract reasoning and broader world viewIncreased peer group influence and desire to be accepted.Relationship skillsBecoming parentified.physical intervene to stop the violenceEmbarrassed by the family resulting in shame, secrecy, and insecurity.Unable to establish peer groups.Poor boundaries.Inappropriate decision-making (emotionally based)Intervention programs:Mentoring programsBehavioral Mod. TechniquesDBTSkills groups (multi family)Assertive communication skillsEach individual in their own treatment
17 Coping Strategies Adaptive: Maladaptive: Reworking of trauma through playMeaningful connections with others that offer corrective experiencesBeing able to feel emotions and still be OKJournaling feelings and thoughtsSublimation of emotions through activities (sports, extracurricular activities)Assertive communicationUse of a sense of humorGoal directed behaviorUse of peer and community supportsMaladaptive:DissociationAffect DysregulationIsolationWithdrawalDisorganizationLack of concentrationSubstance UseViolent BehaviorBullyingOverachievementExcessive Caretaking of OthersExploitationsexually inappropriate behaviorself-destructive behavior
18 *Impact of Trauma on Caregiver-Child Relationship When the caregiver has also experienced interpersonal trauma:The caregiver’s ability to establish and maintain an empathic relationship with the child may be impairedThe caregiver may have a decreased capacity to recognize danger or stressThe child may take the role of caregiverEither partner may develop new negative attributions based on trauma experienceChanges to internal working modelsTraumatic expectationsCaregiver and child may serve as traumatic reminders for one another*Maxine Weinreb, Ed.D.Child Witness to Violence Project
19 Impact of Domestic Violence on the Father-Child Relationship Fathers who are abusive have difficulty taking the perspective of the child. They minimize the impact of violence on their childrenChildren are confused and ambivalent about their feelings toward their fathersSome children express anger and relief that their father is out of the houseSome children express sadness/longing that their father is goneSome children ally themselves with their father and see him as a victim, especially if they have seen him arrestedSummary: As you can see, children are most like adults in their feelings. The violence they witness can leave them with horrifying feelings from extreme terror to rage which can burrow into their souls. However, their thinking is different than ours and can get easily distorted when they are exposed to violence, especially when they learn not to talk about it. They are left thinking horrific things about the world, things that may assist them in a violent environment, but is maladaptive outside of it and my interfere with social, emotional and cognitive development.*Maxine Weinreb, Ed.D.Child Witness to Violence Project
20 Safety Planning Strategies and How the Batterer can Interfere TRO or POCell PhonesIdentify safe hiding places (DV or homeless shelter)Call 911Remove child from abusive environment; Bring child to alternate, safe, location (ie: friend, relative, different room within home)Notify school officials, teachers, etc. of batterer’s potential violence; safety plan; emergency contact, heighten awareness to and possible change in child’s behaviorSleep in same room with childrenTalk to children about how to respond to violence, ie: stay away from abusive/violent environment; respond to code word; go to identified neighbor’s house, hiding place etc.Move out of home with/without children
21 Safety Planning Strategies and How the Batterer can Interfere Sleep in car/street (extreme example of children in ”trunk” incident)Identify person to assist with visitation to reduce potential for violence during transfer of childrenKeep children out of school/change schoolsMake sure they attend schoolNormalize as much as possible by providing a safe structureMeeting basic needs (feeding, bathing, spending quality time)Keeping up to date medicallyMaintaining a routine to avoid exposure to possible violenceEngaging children with outside activities and relationships (formal and informal)Attending school functions such as parent-teacher conferences, fairs, etc.
22 Goals of Child Assessment To begin to hear the child’s storyTo begin to understand what meaning the child attributes to the event(s), what was the worst part of the experience, and what fears the child may haveTo understand how the child has been impacted by the violence and how the child is copingTo identify protective factors in the child including learning strengths, relationship skills, coping abilities, and self regulatory capacity.To observe style and qualities of attachment relationship between parent and child*Maxine Weinreb, Ed.D.Child Witness to Violence Project
23 When a child discloses… Allow child to tell his or her storyReassure the child by validating his or her feelingsDo not criticize or speak negatively about the abusive parentDo not make commitments you cannot keepFollow the child’s leadReassure that nothing that happened was their faultRelaxation techniques– drawing, blowing bubbles, journaling, deep breathingGet to eye levelTalk about something positive about their family
24 “Kids need you. Take the time to get to know us -- even when we’re difficult to befriend. Don’t just think we’re bad kids even though we may be acting bad. We can heal. But we may keep making wrong choices as we deal with the abuse. If you take the time to help us, we’ll know someone cares and we’ll get back on track,” (Anonymous, 2004).Quote (possibilities): Domestic violence is a learned behavior, therefore it can be unlearned and healing can occurEvery moment is a therapeutic moment in the life of a traumatized child. We offer corrective experiences from the first encounter to the last.Resilience is the product of corrective experiences, caring adults, and constant validation.Kids need you. Take the time to get to know us -- even when we’re difficult to befriend. Don’t just thinkwe’re bad kids even though we may be acting bad. We can heal. But we may keep making wrong choices aswe deal with the abuse. If you take the time to help us, we’ll know someone cares and we’ll get back on track, (Anonymous, 2004).
25 Contact InformationGail Manna, DV Consultant (DCF Waterbury)Carolina Grijalba-Rodriguez, DV Consultant (DCF Danbury & Torrington)