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Children Living in Violence


Children Experiencing Violence At Home

  • Learn to expect humiliation, disrespect and violence in close relationships
  • Learn to use violence as a problem-solver and as a way to control others
  • Learn to get their needs met by using threats and intimidation
  • Learn to blame others for their problems and actions
  • Learn poor communication skills
  • Do not learn to express anger without being cruel and abusive
  • Do not develop healthy self-esteem
  • Become isolated because they are unable to trust others
  • Take on adult roles by separating fighting parents, protecting and defending the abused parent, or parenting and protecting younger siblings
  • Develop physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, ulcers, stuttering, bed wetting, sleep and eating disorders
  • Feel guilty because they feel that they violence is their fault - try to be "extra good" so it won't happen again.
  • Feel alone and that their world is out of control
  • Feel powerless because they can't stop the abuse
  • May experience long-term depression and flashbacks of the violent episodes they have witnessed
  • Copy by withdrawing and denying, or abusing alcohol and drugs
  • Live in constant fear



Children Living in Violent Households

WAYS OF BEING DRAWN IN

EFFECTS OF ABUSE

0-1 YEAR OLDS

  • Seeing it
  • Hearing it
  • Being awakened by it
  • Being injured by it
  • Being ripped from mother's arms
  • Having toys broken
  • Being born prematurely
  • Being hit while in mom's arms
  • Being thrown
  • Physical injury
  • Death
  • Fright
  • Being traumatized by it
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Eating disturbances
  • Being colicky or sick
  • Insecurity because of being cared for by a traumatized mom
  • Not responsive or cuddly

2-4 YEAR OLDS

  • Seeing it
  • Hearing it
  • Trying to stop altercation
  • Becoming abused themselves
  • Being used as a physical weapon against the victim
  • Being interrogated by perpetrator about victims activities
  • Being held hostage by perpetrator
  • Acting out violently
  • Withdrawal
  • Trouble with other kids
  • Delayed toileting
  • Eating problems
  • Nervous, jumpy
  • Sleep problems
  • Insecurity, fear and Depression

5-12 YEAR OLDS

  • Seeing & hearing it
  • Picking 1 parent to defend
  • Physically intervening
  • Calling the police
  • Running to neighbors for help
  • Being used as a spy against Mom
  • Forced to participate in attack on Mom
  • Being physically or sexually abused to control Mom
  • Being restricted from contact with others
  • Fear & insecurity
  • Low self esteem
  • Withdrawal/depression
  • Running away
  • Early drug/alcohol use
  • School problems
  • Bedwetting
  • Sexual activity
  • Becoming caretaker of adults
  • Being embarrassed by one's family



Effects of Domestic Violence on Older Children

TEENS (BOYS & GIRLS)

  • Killing/trying to kill perpetrator
  • Trying to stop the abuse
  • Hitting parent or siblings
  • Becoming physically abused
  • Being used as a spy
  • Being used as a confidante
  • Being coerced by perpetrator to be abusive to mom
  • School problems
  • Social problems
  • Sexual activity
  • Shamed & embarrassed
  • Truancy
  • Superachiever at school
  • Tendency to get serious relationships too early to escape home
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol/drug use
  • Confusion about gender roles

  EFFECTS SPECIFIC TO BOYS ONLY

EFFECTS SPECIFIC TO GIRLS ONLY

  • Learning that males are violent
  • Learning to disrespect women
  • Using violence in his own relationships
  • Confusion or insecurity about being a man
  • Attacking parents or siblings
  • Learning that male violence is normal
  • Learning that women don't get respect
  • Accepting violence in her own relationships
  • Embarrassed about being female
  • Becoming pregnant




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