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Domestic violence refers to physical, oral, emotional or sexual abuse perpetrated by one family member toward other family members. This article is very informative as it describes how domestic violence occurs and its effects on children. In families where domestic violence is directed to one parent, children are also abused. Sexual abuse is usually common in homes where domestic violence is prevalent. It is very evident that children who have been subjected to domestic violence respond in different ways depending on their level of intellectual development. Those with either average or below average intellectual capacity are able to fare well and avoid disastrous consequences of domestic violence.
Children in homes experiencing domestic violence have no chance of enjoying their childhood. These results from the responsibilities allocated to them by their parents of taking care of their homes and nurturing their siblings. Lack of time to enjoy their childhood has serious consequences on their lives. These children fail to develop the virtue of trust because they are always suspicious of the parent who ignites violence at home. If the parent is a father, children can’t trust him since he may abuse them at his discretion and without any warning. Therefore, they are always ready for the worst. In addition to being denied a chance to be a child, children in abusive homes become isolated from their friends, as they feel exposed more than they should to the world. They simply fail to interact with others for fearing that friends may discover the ugly scenarios at home and then spread the news which may be embarrassing.
Though there are similar behavioral outcomes in children living in homes and experiencing domestic violence, some are extroverted while others are introverted. The introverted ones are quiet and calm. while the extroverted are very outgoing. Aggressiveness and angry outbursts are common behavioral characteristics exhibited by children living in domestic violent homes. The varied behavioral characteristics are examples of how emotionally children are affected by domestic violence. Growing up into mature adults is a process that requires children to have confidence and trust. If children lose these virtues due to domestic violence, they may fail to have successful adult lives. Domestic violence may affect children of different ages in many ways.
Toddlers and infants experience regression in language and toileting. Moreover, fear, emotional disturbance and disturbed sleep are other effects found in infants and toddlers that may not be seen in teens (Newton, 2001). It is usually unfortunate that teens brought up in violent homes may find it hard to trust other people, thereby not being able to develop relationships of their own when the time comes. For those who succeed in being in relationships, they may become victims of violence or perpetrators.
This article is very relevant as it describes the effects of violence at home. This knowledge is very vital in dealing with children who have gone through these ordeals. With the knowledge of the expected behavior, it is easy to tolerate them and help them to adapt to normal life through counseling and reassurance. Middle school children fall within the category of children prone to suffer from effects of domestic violence. As such, having the knowledge about what they may have gone through helps to deal with their problems and to redefine their lives.