04 November, 2011

Children & Exposure to Violence

"More than one in four children in the United States has been exposed to physical violence between their parents at home at some time in their lives, and one in nine has been exposed to this type of violence within the past year, a new study says." (U.S. News)

The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence listed some of the effects of exposure, including: shame, guilt and blame, anger, acting out or withdrawing, refusing to go to school, lying, manipulation, isolation from friends and family, poor anger management, short attention spans, tried, poor hygiene, and self abuse. For a complete list go here.

Exposure, according to U.S. News includes: hearing it, being told about it, seeing the consequences, or actually seeing it (2011).

It is imperative that more is done to educate those connected to the children - extended family, babysitters, educators, counselors, doctors, etc. - to know the signs and what to do. If just hearing abuse is enough to affect a child, we all have to become educated and be there for children. Too often we pass children off, coming up with other excuses for what is happening. We blame their reactions on other things, they get labeled a "problem child" when really they could be reacting to violence in their life.