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What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation.
Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.
How Does Domestic Violence Effect Children?
Children who witness domestic violence suffer deep wounds that are reflected in their behaviors. The effects of domestic violence on children is so great that it influences the their present and their future as adults. These are some of the effects that Domestic Violence has on children.
- Shame, guilt, and self blame.
- Confusion about conflicting feelings toward parents.
- Fear of abandonment, or expressing emotions, the unknown or personal injury.
- Depression and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.
- Acting out or withdrawing.
- Refusing to go to school.
- Care taking; acting as a parent substitute.
- Lying to avoid confrontation.
- Bedwetting and nightmares.
- Reduced intellectual competency.
- Manipulation, dependency, mood swings.
- Isolation from friends and relatives.
- Difficulty in trusting, especially adults.
- Poor anger management and problem solving skills.
- Excessive social involvement to avoid home.
- Passivity with peers or bullying.
- Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim.
- Somatic complaints, headaches and stomachaches.
- Nervous, anxious, short attention span.
- Frequently ill.
- Regression in development.
- High risk play.
- Self abuse.