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Effects of domestic violence on children

Child Abuse and neglect cases are rising alarmingly and now it’s high time to give this cause its due attention. Crime against children cannot be curbed unless and until crime against women is taken along with it. Any crime against women in the household has a direct impact on her child. This post is a short summary of the long-lasting effects that a child goes through by witnessing Domestic Violence in his/her home

Generally, domestic violence is considered to be a crime merely against women, but in ground reality, it is a crime against children too! The existence of domestic violence in a household, when witnessed by the children in the house, arouses some of the following feelings in their tender heart:

1. Anger:
Anger at the abuser (mostly the father) for the violence, at the victim or themselves for not being able to stop the violence, and at the society for allowing it to happen. 
2. Fear/Terror: 
Fear that the mother or father will be seriously injured or killed, that they or their siblings will be hurt, that if others will find out, then their parents will be “in trouble” or that they will be removed from the family.
3. Powerless: 
Kids feel powerless because they are unable to keep the fights from happening or to stop them when they do occur, and because the community, including law enforcement does nothing to stop the abuse.
4. Loneliness:
Feeling unable or afraid to reach out to others, feeling “different” or feeling isolated.
5. Confusion:
Confusion about why it happens, about choosing sides, about what they should do, about what is “right” & “wrong”. Additionally, they are confused about how the abuser can sometimes be loving and caring and at other times be violent?
6. Shame: 
Shame about what is happening in their home.
7. Guilt:
Children in such houses feel guilty because they believe that they create fights and should be able to stop them. Moreover, children of fighting parents are made to believe that their abused parent is holding on to the marriage and taking all the abuse only for the future of the child. This in turn, makes the child feel more guilty.
8. Distrust: 
A feeling of distrust of adults, even teachers because their experience tells them that, adults are unpredictable, that they break promises and/or they do not mean well.

Each violent act a child witnesses harms or confuses the child. Over time, they lose the meaning of love and morality, which is such a disaster! This, along with the above mention feelings, harms the self-esteem of a child/teenager, frustrates them, and makes them more vulnerable to substance abuse, crime, negativity and behavioral & relationship problems when they grow up. This is form of Child abuse, psychological child abuse. Psychological child abuse is the most complex type of child abuse, but is unfortunately allotted the least awareness across the globe. Also, such children are more vulnerable to being sexually active and sexually exploited at an early age. It is important to reach out to these children and make them see "hope" in life. Because if all the negativity that they have faced is not taken care of, in long run it can lead to more harmful consequences as depicted in the circle above. It is, after all, a full cycle, all the negativity that they have in them, ultimately  creates nuisance in our society in the above depicted forms. Violence is carried from one generation to other and so is the submissiveness. Somewhere, we have to break this cycle. and the time is NOW.

Comments

  1. very informative post Rupali indeed what we see in the house as kids creates a lifetime impact on our lives and decides how we are going to be developing as individuals !! nice post !!

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