Children and Domestic Violence

Examines the effect on children who witness spousal violence in their home.

Researchers have begun to explore the effects on children of witnessing domestic violence and have noted that children who experience such events often show significant behavioral or emotional problems, either immediately afterwards or later on in life. This paper looks at the history of the issue, focusing on the United States. It then examines statistics, the effects on children, including PTSD and expected problems in later life. Finally, the paper looks at treatment and therapy options.
“Some parents noted that their lives were already so complicated by the upheaval that they simply did not have the time to get the children into therapy. One mother noted that she had already missed so much time from work dealing with the legal aspects of the violence that she could take no more time off to take children to therapy. Other parents didn’t think their children needed any help, and in some cases the child did not want to participate. Many parents gave more than one reason (Peled & Edleson, 1999) suggesting that providing therapy for these children is a complex problem to solve. One subset of parents had shared custody of their children and thus incomplete control over their activities (Peled & Edleson, 1999).”