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THE EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN. THIS CHILD God gave this child to you, to guide To love, to walk through life beside. A little child so.

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Presentation on theme: "THE EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN. THIS CHILD God gave this child to you, to guide To love, to walk through life beside. A little child so."— Presentation transcript:


2 THIS CHILD God gave this child to you, to guide To love, to walk through life beside. A little child so full of charms To fill a pair of loving arms God picked you out Because He knew How safe His child Would be with you. -Unknown

3 If the family household is a nightmare for abused women, it is even more of a nightmare for the children.

4 For any child living in violence the basic need for a safe, secure home goes unmet. Children of battered women are victims, regardless of whether or not they are direct recipients of violent acts.

5 Between 50% and 75% of male batterers also abuse their children. 40% of suspected child abuse also includes a history of domestic violence. 25% of victims of domestic violence are pregnant women. 70% of children in domestic violence shelters are neglected or abused. 80% of runaways come from homes where domestic violence occurs

6 63% of boys, ages 11 to 20, arrested for homicide, have been arrested for killing their mother’s abuser. 70% of men in court-ordered treatment for domestic violence witnessed it as a child

7 For Girls Girls from homes with domestic violence are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted more likely to become pregnant as a teen More likely to have adult abusive relationships

8 FOR BOYS 4 times more likely to abuse in dating relationships 25 times more likely to commit rape as an adult 6 times more likely to commit suicide have a 74% greater chance of committing crimes against others 1,000 times more likely to commit violent acts against an adult partner or their own children

9 TO DIVORCE OR NOT DIVORCE ….WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN You only have to visit a domestic violence shelter to know that even children who are afraid of their abusive fathers miss them terribly. Separation anxiety for any child is traumatic. For children in abusive households it brings unique challenges and pain.

10 Reports by battered women indicate that 87 % of children witness the abuse. Events can be witnessed in many ways: hearing mother’s screams or crying hearing the batterer’s threats hearing glass breaking or wood splintering seeing torn clothing or injuries on the mother seeing broken furniture seeing wounded animals seeing the actual abuse

11 Children who witness abuse suffer extreme emotional trauma and react with shock, fear, and guilt.

12 Children’s lives are frequently disrupted by moves to escape domestic violence. lose time at school leave home without taking books, money, or clothing and favorite toys Live in Shelter with strangers Constantly moving between family members Live in Homeless Shelters

13 HOW CHILDREN LIVING IN VIOLENT HOMES FEEL POWERLESS, because they can’t stop the violence. CONFUSED, because it doesn’t make sense ANGRY, because it shouldn’t be happening. GUILTY, because they think they’ve done something wrong. SAD, because it’s a loss. AFRAID, because they may be hurt, they may lose someone they love, others may find out. ALONE, because they think it’s only happening to them.

14 CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN LIVING IN VIOLENT HOMES Children raised in violent homes learn many lessons: they learn how to keep family secrets they learn how to get what they want through aggression and manipulation they learn that people who love you, hurt you they learn that violence, although painful, is an acceptable part of life

15 Children’s responses to living with violence will vary according to their age, gender, stage of development, and role in the family. Many other factors play a part as well: –extent of the violence –frequency of the violence –repeated separations and moves –socioeconomic status –special needs of the children

16 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS Regardless of the age, children living with domestic violence tend to have a strong sense of isolation and helplessness. Their initial method of solving problems is by hitting.

17 They suffer from an extremely high level of anxiety and tend to have developmental delays. As the children mature, their sympathy for the mother may be replaced by overt hostility.

18 Normally, the family plays a crucial role in protecting children from traumatization and assisting in recovery when necessary....Children of violent families, however, are traumatized because of the family environment.

19 SIGNS PRE-NATAL -increased miscarriages due to increased beatings and/orMother’s stress -poor health due to mother’s stress and lack of proper nutrition

20 INFANTS - crying and irritability -sleep disturbances -digestive problems

21 Toddlers/Pre-School more aggressive than other children, or more withdrawn than other children impaired cognitive abilities delays in verbal development poor motor abilities general fearfulness, anxiety stomach aches nightmares lack of bowel/bladder control over 3 years old lack of confidence to begin new tasks

22 School Age poor grades, or in special classes (SLD, EH) failure of one or more grade levels poor social skills low self-esteem general aggressiveness violent outbursts of anger bullying, or withdrawn, dependent bed wetting nightmares digestive problems, ulcers headaches (not related to eye strain/sinus)

23 Teens poor grades, failure in school low self-esteem refuses to bring friends home stays away from home, or feels responsible for taking care of mother/siblings Runaway/truancy violent outbursts of anger, destroying property poor judgement, irresponsible decision making unable to communicate feelings

24 withdrawn, few friends nightmares ulcers, digestive problems bedwetting headaches severe acne males hitting their girlfriends females being hit by their boyfriends joining in on beatings of mother early sexual acting out attempted or completed suicide

25 INFANTS An infant who is raised in a violent family has the basic need for attachment to the mother seriously disrupted. Routines around sleeping and feeding may be anything but normal.

26 The abused mother may not be able to handle the stressful demands of her infant. This distancing is recognized by the child and causes serious separation anxiety. Many victims are forced to be negligent in taking care of the child’s needs due to the demands of the abuser, depression, etc.


28 OTHER WAYS ABUSERS ABUSE Children used as instruments of revenge are a tragic reality in abusive relationships.

29 In most states, divorce and custody issues do not take into account the psychological, emotional or verbal abuse of children. Unless there has been documented physical abuse of a child (and sometimes not even then), the perpetrator will receive at least partial custody of his children, regardless of documented reports of violence perpetrated against his partner.

30 OPTIONS FOR VICTIMS Divorce, in which case the abuser will have partial custody of the children. This sets up a situation where she by law must let the abuser have the children, possibly putting them in danger, and keeps the mother in a constant state of fear while they are with him. Stay with the abuser, take the abuse, and try to protect her children as best she can.

31 Custody transfers also offer the possibility of further abuse of the victim, either verbally, physically or both ….in the presence of the children. Many abusers use the children as weapons against their former partners. Children are not picked up or returned at previously set times. Often the abuser threatens to take them away permanently by simply disappearing with the children or by legal means.

32 According to one study, 5% of abusive fathers threaten during visitation to kill the mother, 34% threaten to kidnap their children, and 25% threaten to hurt their children.

33 Despite the perception that mothers always win custody cases, studies show that fathers who contest custody win sole or joint custody in 40% – 70% of cases.

34 Why? The man usually has more funds to amass lengthy legal/custody battles (the victim may not have worked for some time or is in a lower paying job and simply cannot afford the expense of representation or time off work to combat the legal attack.)

35 Children used as instruments of revenge are a tragic reality in abusive relationships.

36 Why don’t abused women report abuse of their children by their partners? Retaliation from abuser Under the current system, the mothers will also be blamed for “failure to protect” and are in danger of losing their children Not enough physical evidence to convince that can’t be explained away

37 “What about abused women who then turn their abuse on their own children?” Some mothers will take over the physical discipline of their children to protect them from “more severe” punishment by the abuser. Many of these women grew up in homes where they were “physically punished” and do not consider it wrong. Some abused women become abusive to their children as a result of a direct order from the abuser to avoid violent behavior or prove their loyalty to him as their primary concern. Frustration from lack of coping skills with relationship violence. When you live in violence you learn violence.

38 EMOTIONAL ABUSE Emotional abuse is commonly defined as a pattern of behavior that can seriously interfere with a child’s positive emotional development.

39 “Emotional abuse is an assault on the child’s psyche, just as physical abuse is an assault on the child’s body.”

40 Constant rejection of a child Terrorizing Refusal to provide basic nurturance Refusal to get help for a child’s psychological problems Failure to provide the physical or mental stimulation that a child needs to grow Exposing a child to corruption including criminal behavior, drug abuse, etc.

41 Because of the difficulty in defining emotional abuse, we must be very careful not to lump all negative parental attitudes and/or actions under the category of emotional maltreatment. Even the best of parents have occasions when they have “lost control” and said hurtful things to their children, ignored them during a time when attention needs were critical, or unintentionally scared them.


43 The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children I acknowledge receiving from Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and I have read and understand the information set forth in the PowerPoint presentation. I understand it is my responsibility to bring questions to the Chief Executive Officer, supervisor or Community Education Coordinator if I do not understand or need clarification of any of this information. By signing this, I am verifying I have received and understand The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children I will receive a Certificate of Training for 2 hours. Employee’s Signature: _________________________________ Employee printed name: ______________________________ Date: __________________

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