Monday, 20 March 2017

CHILDREN AT RISK: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON CHILDREN



Domestic violence is the most common form of violence against women. It effects the life span from sex, selective abortion of female foetuses to forced suicide and abuse is evident to some degree Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
Domestic violence occurs in every culture, country, and age group. It affects people from all socioeconomic, educational, and religious backgrounds and happens in both same-sex and heterosexual relationships. Children are also affected by domestic violence, even if they are not abused or do not witness it directly.
Depending on the relationship, the physical or emotional abuse may happen very often or not as often. Either way, once violence begins, it will usually continue and get worse over time. No matter how often the abuse happens, the victim of domestic violence suffers constant terror and stress, living in fear of the next episode. In relationships where there is domestic violence and abuse, children witness about three-quarters of the abusive incidents. About half the children in such families have themselves been badly hit or beaten. Sexual and emotional abuse is also more likely to happen in these families.
While women are most commonly the victims of their male partners, domestic violence can happen between all sorts of people and in all sorts of relationships. It happens between people who are married and between people who aren’t living together. It can be abuse by a man against a woman, or by a woman against a man. It can occur in gay or lesbian relationships.
Domestic violence is a common reality in our society. It occurs in all social classes, ethnic groups, cultures and religions. Most people don’t realize how common it is, because very often victims of abuse keep quite child may be directly targeted by the perpetrator and suffer physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or serious neglect. Children who are exposed to battering become fearful and anxious. They are always on guard, watching and waiting for the next event to occur. They never know what will trigger the abuse, and therefore, they never feel safe. They are always worried for themselves, their mother, and their siblings. They feel worthless and powerless.
Children of abuse feel isolated and vulnerable. They are starved for attention, affection and approval. Because mom is struggling to survive, she is often not present for her children and dad is so consumed with controlling everyone, he also is not present for his children. These children become physically, emotionally and psychologically abandoned.
The emotional responses of children who witness domestic violence may include fear, guilt, shame, sleep disturbances, sadness, depression, and anger (at both the abuser for the violence and at the mother for being unable to prevent the violence).
Physical responses may include stomachaches and/or headaches, bedwetting, and loss of ability to concentrate. Some children may also experience physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Others may be injured while trying to intervene on behalf of their mother or a sibling The behavioral responses of children who witness domestic violence may include acting out, withdrawal, or anxiousness to please. The children may exhibit signs of anxiety and have a short attention span which may result in poor school performance and attendance. They may experience developmental delays in speech, motor or cognitive skills. They may also use violence to express themselves displaying increased aggression with peers or mother. They can become self-injuring.
Apart from the emotional, physical, social and behavioral damage abuse creates for children, that domestic violence can also become a learned behaviour.It has been seen that the children who are exposes to domestic violancechildren may grow up to think it is okay to use violence to get what they want and as adults that it is okay for there to be violence in their relationships. Sociologist believes that children who are raised in abusive homes learn that violence is an effective way to resolve conflicts and problems. They may replicate the violence they witnessed as children in their teen and adult relationships and parenting experiences. Boys who witness their mothers’ abuse are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than boys raised in nonviolent homes. For girls, adolescence may result in the belief that threats and violence are the norm in relationships.
Children who grow up with abuse are expected to keep the family secret, sometimes not even talking to each other about the abuse. Children from abusive homes can look fine to the outside world, but inside they are in terrible pain. It snatches the smile from their innocent faces& fill their life with unbearable pain. It badly effect their growth .As a result their life become Miserable.
Conclusion
When children live with domestic and family violence, they are experiencing trauma. It can be trauma that is ongoing and long-lasting. Domestic and family violence can have impacts on health, development and wellbeing. The effects build up over time, and can impact on every aspect of their life Parents should try to give healthily atmosphere to children, as it affect their overall growth. To resolve their conflict they can take the advice from elders in home or they can contact to counseling cells. In families where domestic violence is normal features of family children have higher risks of alcohol/drug abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, and juvenile delinquency.  Domestic violence is the one of the important factor responsible for juvenile delinquency and adult criminality. It is also the number one reason children run away.



Dr. Richa Srivastava, 
Assistant professor, 
JIMS Engineering Management Technical campus, 
Greater Noida

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