The Lasting Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

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Dear readers, I wish to discuss with you a topic of dire importance today.  Our children are society’s most vulnerable citizens, their very survival depending solely on us, their parents.  Our children rely on us to provide them with the tools they need to grow into thriving young adults.  Ultimately, the environment we subject our children to can impact them drastically well into adulthood, and continue to do so throughout their entire lives.  I cannot stress this enough.

Children exposed to domestic violence in their households exhibit the same pattern of brain activity as soldiers exposed to combat.  Children who live in households where domestic violence occurs tend to feel isolated, and vulnerable.  They witness horrific events that no child should ever see, and hear things no child should ever hear.  They live in a domestic warzone, being exposed to  bloodshed, rage, trauma, and terror on a daily basis.  What should be a place of refuge is a living nightmare that they, themselves, are powerless to escape.

Studies relay that approximately 3-4 million children between the ages of 3-17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence annually.  Common behavioral responses in children that witness domestic violence include acting out, emotional withdrawal, and anxiety.  They may exhibit developmental delays in speech, as well as delays in motor, and cognitive skill development.  Children that live in domestic violent households are at substantial risk of being abused as well.  Abusers  will begin targeting the children as a means to control, and hurt the other spouse.  This dance for power and control is deadly, with approximately 1,500 women being murdered by their significant other each year.   Girls that witness domestic violence in the home are at high risk of choosing abusive partners when they enter adulthood.  Likewise, boys that witness domestic violence are more likely to become abusers themselves, thus, continuing the vicious cycle into the next generation.

Dear friends, our children are our greatest treasure; they are priceless!  The choices we make as parents today pave the road that our children shall travel tomorrow.  The environment we subject our children to is the very foundation of the future that awaits them.  Domestic violence is a cycle; it is up to us to break this cycle!  Every child deserves a champion, a hero, a protector.  Our children need us to step up to the plate, and be the champion that they seek.  Let us raise strong, confident children that believe they can take on the world!  Let us raise independent, self efficient young adults that need not recover from their childhoods!  Let us weave a brighter tomorrow for our children, a tomorrow that is free from the shackles of domestic violence!


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