“the Effects on Children Who Witness Domestic Abuse” Essay

1807 Words Oct 19th, 2010 8 Pages
“The Effects on Children Who Witness Domestic Abuse”

Domestic violence is a devastating social problem. “Domestic violence is about one person getting and keeping power and control over another person in an intimate relationship. It is a pattern of behavior in which one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation and emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control and change the behavior of the other partner (Despres,2009). Domestic violence is not just hitting or fighting or an occasional mean argument. It is a chronic abuse of power and a need for control. In every state there are laws that prohibit domestic violence but they vary from state to state. Domestic abuse is widespread and
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In these adolescent years children may feel like it is their responsibility to try to stop the abuse. In theses cases children are often hurt during the domestic assault whether intentional or accidentally i.e. intervening, or an object thrown. In studies boys have been shown to exhibit frequent problems. The problems are categorized as external i.e. acting out. Girls tend to show signs of internalized problems i.e. somatic complaints such as stomach aches, headaches and depression (Stagg,V., Wills, G.D. & Howell, M.1989). Adolescents tend to suffer from behavioral, social and emotional problems such higher levels of aggression, hostility, oppositional behavior which is purposefully bothering and irritating others, disobedience, low self esteem and being unable to form relationships. These are due to lack of trust and fear. The children also seem to grow up quickly. Cognitive problems one might see in an adolescent who has been a witness to domestic violence are lower cognitive functioning, no problem solving skills, poor school performance and lack of conflict resolution skills. These problems are in addition to the earlier year issues. These years are supposed to be the best years of a child’s life, having no responsibilities and a lot of time spent having fun and enjoying things. Yet for so many teens it is the opposite(Newton, 2001). The effects of domestic abuse do not end in

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