Tag Archive | Domestic Violence

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

children walking to school

The month of October is recognized as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). With that being said, this month, this blog will discuss: the dynamics of domestic, information and resources for survivors of abuse, the impact of abuse on children, among other topics related to this pressing public health issue.

Child witnesses to domestic violence often have life-long effects. Please read the data below regarding chid witnesses to domestic violence.

DATA:
• Between 3.3 million and 25 million children experience domestic violence in their homes each year.
• The average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is 9 years old. 50 percent of homeless women and children are
fleeing abuse in the home.
• Children who live in homes where their mothers are battered are 50% more likely to be beaten themselves. Research indicates that 50 to 70 percent of men who physically abuse their wives also frequently abuse their children.
• In one study, 27% of domestic homicide victims were children. When children are killed during a domestic dispute, 90% are under age 10; 56% are under age 2. Children from homes where their mothers is beaten suffer eating and sleeping disorders, have headaches, ulcers, rashes, depression, and anxiety caused by the trauma of witnessing abuse.
• They have a higher risk of abusing substances and becoming juvenile delinquents.
• Eighty percent of teen runaways and homeless youth come from violent homes.

smiling child close-up
•Girls from homes with domestic violence are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted and more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
•A boy from a home where his mother is battered is 74% more likely to commit violence, including rape.
•Boys who grow up in non-violent homes have one chance in 400 of becoming abusive adults, but boys who grow up in violent homes have one chance in two of becoming abusive adults.
•Sixty-three percent of boys ages 11-20 arrested for homicide have killed their mother’s abuser.

cute little boy with apple

How are children affected by domestic violence?
• They exhibit “failure to thrive” symptoms, even as infants.
• They may exhibit “general aggressiveness” or violence to siblings or the
“victim parent” in ways that emulate the abusive parent.
• They may exhibit a pattern of “over-compliance” and fearfulness.
• They often suffer from low self-esteem.
• They often suffer poor health.
• They may have poor impulse control.
• They often experience academic problems.
• They live frequently ”disrupted lives” when the victim is forced to flee the home.
• They, along with their mothers, comprise nearly 40% of the homeless population in the U.S.
• They are sometimes injured during violent incidents in the home or the family
vehicle.

praying little boy
• They are more often abducted by the abuser parent than other children.
• They may have a fear and distrust of close relationships.
• They may become conflicted in taking sides with parents.
• They experience confusion over correct behavior.
• They experience psychosomatic complaints, i.e., stomachaches, headaches, stuttering, anxiety, fear, etc.
• They experience “night terrors” (waking up screaming in the night).
• They may wet the bed.
• They kill themselves more often than children who do not live with abuse.
• They are likely to repeat learned behaviors.
• They blame themselves for the violence or the inability to stop it and protect the victim parent.
•They often experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Boy Drinking Milk
• They are more likely to be victim of child physical and sexual abuse, most often by the abuser parent and less often by the victim.
• They are four times as likely to be arrested eventually.
• They are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
• They are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior.
• They are more likely to commit crime against other persons and sexual assaults.

Sources: http://www.pcadv.org. http://www.stopvaw.org. http://www.aaets.org. http://www.unicef.org. http://www.childwelfare.gov.

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National Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Celebrate, Mourn, Connect & Act

serious woman face

 

Domestic violence poses a clear and present danger for countless persons. The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. Each year, across the country, the month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity which was first observed in October, 1981 and spear-headed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The intent of establishing the Day of Unity was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.

Soon, the Day of Unity became a week-long event where a range of activities were held at the local, state, and national levels. The activities conducted had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.

Domestic violence can be eradicated with an equal amount of conscience, mind, heart, and collective action. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, each of us should commit ourselves to halting violence within our homes, our communities, and our nation.

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Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention Information

Serious Computer Users

 

Because October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, many of the posts in this blog will address issues related to breaking the cycle of violence and exposing myths about this phenomenon. Access to information is integral to breaking the cycle of violence. Toward that goal, we are directing your attention to very help informational resources related to domestic violence intervention, prevention, and community outreach. In this blog post, we will highlight the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website.

asian woman with cell

The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website contains a wealth of resources for both victims of domestic violence and their advocates. The National Hotlines website includes but is not limited to: the definition of domestic violence; tips on how you can help; a list of domestic violence hotlines; reference materials; and helpful links. For further information, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website at http://www.thehotline.org/.

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Child Witnesses

Scared Girl

Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. It has been reported that men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents. Child witnesses to domestic violence often have life-long effects. Please read the data below regarding child witnesses to domestic violence.

DATA:
•Between 3.3 million and 25 million children experience domestic violence in their homes each year.

 •The average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is 9 years old. 50 percent of homeless women and children are fleeing abuse in the home.
•Children who live in homes where their mothers are battered are 50% more likely to be beaten themselves. Research indicates that 50 to 70 percent of men who physically abuse their wives also frequently abuse their children.

 •In one study, 27% of domestic homicide victims were children. When children are killed during a domestic dispute, 90% are under age 10; 56% are under age 2. Children from homes where their mothers is beaten suffer eating and sleeping disorders, have headaches, ulcers, rashes, depression, and anxiety caused by the trauma of witnessing abuse.

praying little boy

 •They have a higher risk of abusing substances and becoming juvenile delinquents.

 •Eighty percent of teen runaways and homeless youth come from violent homes.

 •Girls from homes with domestic violence are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted and more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.

 •A boy from a home where his mother is battered is 74% more likely to commit violence, including rape.

 •Boys who grow up in non-violent homes have one chance in 400 of becoming abusive adults, but boys who grow up in violent homes have one chance in two of becoming abusive adults.

 •Sixty-three percent of boys ages 11-20 arrested for homicide have killed their mother’s abuser.

Child Post

How are children affected by domestic violence?
•They exhibit “failure to thrive” symptoms, even as infants.
•They may exhibit “general aggressiveness” or violence to siblings or the
“victim parent” in ways that emulate the abusive parent.
•They may exhibit a pattern of “over-compliance” and fearfulness.
•They often suffer from low self-esteem.
•They often suffer poor health.
•They may have poor impulse control.
•They often experience academic problems.
•They live frequently ”disrupted lives” when the victim is forced to flee the home.
•They, along with their mothers, comprise nearly 40% of the homeless population in the U.S.
•They are sometimes injured during violent incidents in the home or the family
vehicle.
•They are more often abducted by the abuser parent than other children.
•They may have a fear and distrust of close relationships.
•They may become conflicted in taking sides with parents.
•They experience confusion over correct behavior.
•They experience psychosomatic complaints, i.e., stomachaches, headaches, stuttering, anxiety, fear, etc.
•They experience “night terrors” (waking up screaming in the night).
•They may wet the bed.
•They kill themselves more often than children who do not live with abuse.
•They are likely to repeat learned behaviors.

depressed teen girl
•They blame themselves for the violence or the inability to stop it and protect the victim parent.
•They often experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
•They are more likely to be victim of child physical and sexual abuse, most often by the abuser parent and less often by the victim.
•They are four times as likely to be arrested eventually.
•They are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
•They are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior.
•They are more likely to commit crime against other persons and sexual assaults.

Sources: http://www.pcadv.org. http://www.stopvaw.org. http://www.aaets.org. http://www.unicef.org. http://www.childwelfare.gov.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Workplaces Respond to Domestic Violence

woman with cellphone

Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.  Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

cups

 

The costs of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion. In the fall of 2010, the Obama administration launched a new initiative to assist employers to respond to domestic and sexual violence. Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center is a new initiative that makes it easier for employers to adopt policies to support and protect employees who are victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The National Resource Center’s website includes but is not limited to: information on work place violence, guns and the work place, and union responses. The new Workplace Resource Center was created by a partnership of seven national organizations led by the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

Serious Computer Users

For further information on the new national center, visit Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center’s website at http://www.workplacesrespond.org/.

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No Resting Place: Violence At Home & Violence In The Streets

Stress
The month of March has long been recognized as Women’s History Month. Domestic violence continues to pose a clear and present danger for women and girls. To highlight that fact here are some alarming facts shared on the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website:
“Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner. In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder. Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury. Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.”

With that said, not all homes provide a safe haven. For far too many women violence and danger are their constant companions. Many incidents of domestic violence go unreported. What data that is available indicates as shared previously that domestic violence continues to pose a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of countless women and girls. Yet, domestic violence is a subject that we, as a society, are reluctant to talk about. As a result, victims often suffer and sometimes die in silence. It is important to know: what constitutes domestic violence, how you can help, and available resources.

What constitutes abuse? Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including but not limited to physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that people use to gain power and control over their intimate partners. Research indicates that domestic violence is common and affects people of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds and income levels. Domestic violence is not a private family matter as was once thought but rather a crime against society. Abuse takes many forms.

Abuse comes in several forms and, while some define abuse as a physical attack, it can also be emotional, financial, or sexual. Physically abusive behavior can escalate quickly and have lethal consequences. Emotional abuse is considered a psychological or mental attack on another, including name-calling, destructive criticism, harassment, isolation, intimidation, or humiliation. These emotionally destructive behaviors by the abusive partner can be detrimental to the victim’s mental well-being both in the short-term as well as long-term without counseling. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy the victim’s self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make the victim feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and the first step to breaking free is recognizing that the relationship is abusive.

Are there other forms of domestic violence? Other forms of domestic violence include but are not limited to financial and sexual abuse. Financial abuse, also known as economic abuse, results from one partner’s attempts to gain and maintain control over their partner’s finances. Taking many forms, financial abuse includes disallowing a partner from obtaining a job, purposely hurting a partner’s credit, limiting access to funds, and demanding that a partner ask for money for every expense. Sexual abuse results from one partner forcing his or her will on the other, often causing physical and psychological harm in the process. When a partner is afraid to say no, he or she suffers from abuse. Once the victim acknowledges the reality of the abusive situation, then she or he can get the much-needed help.

Is this an exhaustive list of the forms of domestic violence? Although lengthy, the aforementioned categories of domestic violence do not comprise all forms abuse. Stalking is another form of emotional abuse. With the rise of technology, many abuse their partner by stalking them with the aid of cell phones, computers, and the Internet, or using technology to monitor a partner’s activity. Research indicates that this type of abuse is especially common among teenagers and young adults. The immigration status of the victim can also afford the abusive partner an opportunity to control the victim. When the abusive partner, often a spouse, holds control over the victim’s immigration papers, threatens to call immigration authorities, or refuses to let his or her partner to learn English, among other things this behavior constitutes abuse. More than ever before, society must guard against domestic abuse in all forms, paying special attention to non-traditional forms of abusive behavior which all too often go overlooked.

How can you help? There are several ways that you can help a person in an abusive relationship. First, you must be a patient and non-judgmental listener. Respect your friend or family member’s decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. Secondly, you can encourage him or her to talk to people who can provide help and guidance. Assist your friend in locating a local domestic violence agency that provides counseling and/or shelter. If the person elects to go to the police, court or a lawyer, you can offer to accompany them for moral support. It is important to be mindful that you cannot rescue the person being abused. Although it is difficult to see someone you care about being hurt only the abused person can decide when to take the requisite steps to secure a life free from the violence and turmoil which occurs in an abusive relationship.

The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, keep in mind that expressing your concern for their health and well-being will let the person know that you care and may even save her or his life.

Sources:NCADV website and PCADV website

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Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse

Thinking Woman

”Husbands often suggest that they beat their wives because their wives drink. But several studies have shown that many battered women start drinking subsequent to the battering. So, it may be defensive behavior on the part of women, trying to cope with an intolerable situation.” – Linda Salzman, PhD, Criminologist at the Centers for Disease Control.
• 33% of battered women suffer depression.
•26% of all women who attempt suicide are victims of
domestic violence.
•10% of all battered women abuse drugs or alcohol.
•50% of all alcoholic or addicted women are victims of
domestic violence.
•A survey of 2,099 women found that women who had experienced abuse reported more frequent use of sleeping pills and sedatives than women who had not been abused.
◦40% more battered women reported sleeping pill use.
◦74% more battered women reported sedative use.
◦50% more women physically abused as children reported sleeping pill use and all reported sedative use.
•Substance abuse adds more problems for the victim because:
◦There is less resistance from the victim
◦It gives more power to the abuser
◦The victim feels like they ‘deserve’ the abuse
◦There is less support from the victim’s family
◦The victim tends to ignore the home, bills,
children, etc.

Batterers:
•Ten studies reporting chronic alcohol use, alcoholism, or alcohol abuse reported that between 24% and 86% of battering incidents involved alcohol abuse. When batterers reported, the result was a combined average of 36% of battering incidents involving alcohol; when victims reported, the combined average was 67%.
•A study of 400 battered women found that 67% of batterers frequently abused alcohol; however, only one-fifth had abused alcohol during all four battering incidents on which data were collected.
•In one batterers intervention program, 90% of the men had abused alcohol at the time of the latest battering incident. The vast majority of participants also reported battering their partners when not under the influence of alcohol.

Battering is a socially learned behavior, and is not the result of substance abuse or mental illness. With regard to domestic violence, substance abuse may be viewed as:
• An excuse. In many societies, including ours, substance use has a role as a time out from responsibility during which the user can engage in exceptional behavior and later disavow the behavior as caused by the substance rather than the self (MacAndrew & Edgerton, 1969). Some observers suggest batterers use substances first as a vehicle, then as an excuse, for being controlling and violent.
•A cognitive disrupter. Drugs or alcohol may reduce the user’s ability to perceive, integrate, and process information, increasing his risk for violence (Pernanen, 1991). Batterers may be more likely than non-batterers to misinterpret the actions of their partners in this manner, and substances enhance the misinterpretation.
• A power motive. Substance abuse and woman abuse may share common origins in a need to achieve personal power and control (Gondolf, 1995).
•Situational. Violence may occur during the process of obtaining and using substances. The situational relationship between substance abuse and woman abuse is particularly relevant when illegal drugs are involved. A battered woman may use substances with her abuser in an attempt to manage his violence and increase her own safety (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997), or she may be forced to use substances with her batterer.
•A chemical agent. Substance abuse may increase the risk for woman abuse through chemical actions on brain mechanisms linked to aggression (Miczek, et al., 1994). However, there is no evidence that batterers are neither “hard wired” for violence, nor that their socialization or choice-making processes are not operational when using substances.
•Partial to certain characteristics. Substance abuse may increase the risk for woman abuse only for those men with certain
characteristics. In Kenneth Leonard’s national study of 23-year-old men, heavy drinking was associated with woman abuse only for those men with a high levels of hostility and low levels of marital satisfaction (Leonard & Blane, 1992).
•Effective across generations. Substance abuse and woman abuse are learned through observation and practice, and are related over time. Parental substance abuse and parental woman abuse may impact the development of children, increasing the chances of a child growing up to be an abuser, a victim of abuse, and/or a substance abuser (Kantor & Asdigian, 1993).[1]

Similarities between substance abuse and domestic violence:
•Affects entire families
•Negatively impacts a pregnancy
•Strong denial tendencies
•Blames others
•Thrives on isolation, shame, and silence
•Social stigma
•Pervasive social and health problems cut across all demographic categories
•Potentially life-threatening
•Often intergenerational
•Tend to become progressively worse
•Often lead to other kinds of problems (e.g. health, legal and financial)

Source(s): Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Linda Salzman, PhD, Criminologist at the Centers for Disease Control. Kantor & Asdigian, 1993. Leonard & Blane, 1992. Miczek, et al., 1994. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997. Gondolf, 1995. Pernanen, 1991. MacAndrew & Edgerton, 1969. Larry W. Bennett, Ph.D. “Substance Abuse and Woman Abuse by Male Partners.” University of Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. September 1997.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art.

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[1] Larry W. Bennett, Ph.D. “Substance Abuse and Woman Abuse by Male Partners.” University of Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. September 1997.