More information will be added to this page. If you have questions about domestic violence, please use the link below to visit the
Domestic Violence Resource Center
Domestic Violence and Child Development
Domestic Violence can negatively affect the very chromosomes of your child.
Please go to this link on the Guardian Ad Litem website for important information on how your child's brain develops and how yelling, as well as physical violence in the home negatively affects the child while this is happening and the long term effects.
"Domestic Violence can feel scarier than War"
Read this article and watch the video about the effect of Domestic Violence.
Some significant quotes from the article are as follows
"Neuroscientist Tanja Jovanovic directs the Grady Trauma Project, a research institute based at Emory University in Atlanta. The risk of PTSD from domestic violence is high, she says, because it's a 'betrayal by someone who is supposed to be to a protector.' "
Making matters worse, Jovanovic said, domestic violence often eliminates the 'buffering effect of another positive adult, 'because the adult who is targeted can't provide comfort to the children who witness it.' "
"Psychologist Abigail Gewirtz says domestic violence can feel scarier than war. Gewirtz is the director of the Institute of Translational Research in Children's Mental Health at the University of Minnesota. It's "one of the most terrifying forms of violence because it happens in a place which is supposed to be safe," she said. "Children are totally powerless, especially very young children. They are totally dependent on their parents.”
"When parents in an abusive relationship separate, conditions for their children can become even riskier. The nonprofit group Center for Judicial Excellence, which monitors family courts, found that more than 650 children were killed by a parent in a "divorce, separation, custody, visitation, child support situation" from 2008 through 2018."
Now all of these quotes from the article are referring to WITNESSING Domestic Violence - how much worse, how far-reaching are the effects, for children who not only witness Domestic Violence, but are themselves abused?
If your situation is volatile, and charged with emotions, seek help for yourself and your children. Find new strategies, new ways of thinking that lead to solutions that support you and your children. Learn new, healthy ways of expressing yourself. Empower yourself with these strategies that may be new to you.
"The American Medical Association published the study in November. University of Vermont psychologist William Copeland was its lead author. These children "have the same type of poor outcomes 10, 20 years down the road" as children who "experience it directly themselves," he said.
A global study out last year of more than 125,000 people from all socioeconomic backgrounds found children who witnessed domestic violence had the same risk and incidence of PTSD as soldiers returning from war.
Research presented in November at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies shows that children exposed at an early age to trauma, including domestic violence, have a smaller hippocampus – the brain area related to learning and memory formation – a risk factor for PTSD.
Other research shows that the amygdala – the part of the brain that processes emotions, memory and fear – in children who have been exposed to violence reacts more strongly to threats than in children who haven't.
Eamon McCrory, a professor of developmental neuroscience at University College London, says the changes make it more difficult for these children to get along with others. Other studies have shown that exposing children to violence leads to lower grades and a greater probability of dropping out of school."
The above link will take you to the website for ChildWelfare.gov with a variety of articles and website links. Below are some of the links you will find there. Please go directly to the above link to see new resources as they are added to the website.
Impact on Children and Youth
"Children and youth who are exposed to domestic violence experience emotional, mental, and social damage that can affect their developmental growth. Some children lose the ability to feel empathy for others. Others feel socially isolated, unable to make friends as easily due to social discomfort or confusion over what is acceptable. In order to respond to the overwhelming issues associated with domestic violence, child welfare professionals need to understand these issues and know how to identify them as well as assess and provide treatment to children and youth affected by domestic violence. This section provides information and resources on the impact that domestic violence has on children and youth as well as resources on how to respond to it."
Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence
Series Title: State Statutes
Author(s): Child Welfare Information Gateway
Availability: View - https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/witnessdv/
Download (PDF - 663KB): https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/witnessdv.pdf
Year Published: 2016
Discusses laws that extend legal protection to children who may be harmed by witnessing acts of domestic violence in their homes. The issues examined include the circumstances that constitute "witnessing" domestic violence and the legal consequence to persons who commit the domestic violence, such as enhanced penalties and fines.
Examines problems associated with childhood exposure to violence and how parents and families can find help.
Futures Without Violence & The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2015)
Discusses the factors that influence children’s reactions to domestic violence. This resource identifies ways in which to support health and emotional and mental development among children who have been exposed to violence.
Futures Without Violence & The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2015)
Examines how exposure to domestic violence affects children’s behavior, including levels of aggression and sleeping patterns.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute (2019)
Discusses the negative effects that witnessing domestic violence can have on children, including physical and mental health consequences as well as other long-term effects.
Journal of Family Violence, 31(5)
Highlights the growing understanding of children’s exposure to domestic violence by examining the impact and the cumulative effects of exposure to violence, potential protective factors, and the father-child relationship.
Futures Without Violence (2016)
Reviews the effects exposure to domestic violence can have on children. The website also discusses how children can be exposed, the effects of exposure based on age, symptoms of exposure, and more.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Provides information on the effects of children's exposure to intimate partner violence, including short-term and long-term effects and trauma reactions by age group.
Kimball & Keene (2016)
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Examines the effect of domestic violence across the lifespan, with particular attention paid to mental health and suicidality.
Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University
Provides a three-part video series on how early childhood exposure to toxic stress affects brain structure and socio-cultural development.
Futures Without Violence
Offers a web-based repository of interventions and resources on responding to children's exposure to domestic violence. The report overviews 45 interventions that serve children and families, starting on page 16 of the document.
Childhood Domestic Violence Association
Describes the impacts of childhood exposure to domestic violence and how experiencing violence can negatively affect a developing brain. The resource addresses impact to physical health, mental health, behavior, and relationships later in life.
Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2015)
The Effect of Abuse - Long Term Consequences
Read to the end of the Article to find information on Preventing and Reducing the LongTerm Consequences of Maltreatment