By: Syeda Ale-Rabab
Domestic violence can be defined as terrorizing partner abuse, family violence or belabor. The effects/consequences of domestic violence on children play a horribly immense role on the well-being and developmental growth of children.When people think of domestic violence they mostly think of the victim but what you may not realise is that children also experience domestic violence and this affects their physical health. Witnessing violence between parents is a particularly horrifying event for children. It is most likely to occur in the home which is considered the most secure place for a child however, by witnessing violence in home the children start to feel insecure even while living with their own parents. When children see one parent is being abused they may feel fearful and anxious. They may always be on guard, wondering when the next violent event will happen.
The violence effects drastically on their psychological health, emotions and cause behavioral problems such as aggression, phobias, insomnia, low self-esteem, and depression. Children who grow up in a violent home are likely to be victims of child abuse, those who are not direct victims have some of the analogous behavioural and psychological problems as children who are themselves physically abused.They think all the problems are caused my them, they blame themselves due to which they are never much confident to face any upcoming hurdle of life with firmness.
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. Children who witness violence between parents may also be at greater risk of being violent in their future relationships.
Domestic violence affects at children in all ages
- -In utero life baby can be injured by the by the violence experienced by the mother or can be badly effected by the alcohol consumption by mother to cope up with the stress.
- In infancy if an infant is exposed to domestic violence it makes it really difficult to develop attachments with the caregivers, they can be dropped down my mother while being abused and can face injuries.
- Toddlers are really effected by the domestic violence they are in a learning stage and try to copy whatever their parents do. So If they are exposed to domestic violence they may experience insomnia because everything starts to rewind in their tiny minds and are also suffering eating disturbances.
- -lf a child is exposed to domestic violence it has an adverse effect on academic results, these type of children mostly do not have much friends and have a lot of insecurities.
- Teenage :An adolescent is at higher risk of being drug addict and are mostly involved into violent practices.
Children and youth which are being an indirect victim of domestic abuse assume that all of the things they have seen or experienced since childhood is legal and good such as:
- Violence is normal and justifiable.
- Abusive tactics are effective ways of getting what you want.
- People who are supposed to take care of you cannot always be trusted.
- Women are not worthy of respect
To fully understand the extent of the effects of domestic violence on children, there are several areas which need to be considered for future research. Teachers and friends can play a really immense role in dealing with a child from a violent house. Teachers should give these type of children special care and ask their class fellows to be good with them so, that the time they spend in their school is their happy time without any distress. Friends are one’s greatest support so if any child tells his or her friend about the violence sessions going in their house, they should help them to get out of the stress.
It can also be delt by developing a broader definitional and research base for child abuse and domestic violence issues, and placing them within the framework of family violence generally, that we can hope to direct government policy, with corresponding proper resources, in a way which will provide a better future for children.
The writer is student of Riphah University Rawalpindi