Domestic violence (DV) is more than anger. It is more than abuse. It is not about gaining pleasure from inflicting pain. What it is about is the power and control of one person over another brought about through a combination of intimidation, physical, mental, and emotional cruelty. What domestic violence is is a living nightmare for the victims trapped within it's clutches. It is in every city, on every block. It is unbias and nondiscriminatory. It effects rich and poor alike and has no regard for social or political status, and its effects are long term and hereditary.
Witnessing domestic violence is in and of itself a form of child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, the trickle down effect of DV does not end there. Domestic violence is often discussed clinically, in terms referring to the physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal cost,yet it is the human cost that needs to be profiled. The physical effect of domestic violence alone, such as damage to a child's growing brain, can cause developmental and learning impairment including cognitive delays and behavioral difficulties. However, the physical effects of exposure to abuse is only the tip of the iceberg.
As the children from a home with domestic violence grow up, they are predisposed to become abusers themselves. The recurring cycle of violence often begins on the school yard, with the child bullying other children, and ultimately ends with the child becoming an adult who perpetrates domestic violence themselves.
According to the United States goverment, an estimated 905,000 children were victims of exposure to domestic violence, a form of child abuse, both physical and emotinal, and neglect in 2006 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). While physical injuries may or may not be immediately visible, abuse and neglect not only can but will have consequences for the children and families that experience this abuse that will last the course of the victims lifetime, and often for generations to come.
For these families, living in fear and pain is all they know. The emotional and physical cost of domestic violence to children and families is unconscionable. Stopping the cycle of violence is the only way to end the multi-generational pattern of abuse being passed down from parent to child ad infinium amen.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL SHELTER, YMCA, OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IMMEDIATELY. THESE AGENCIES MAY BE REACHED BY DIALING 211, 411, OR 911.
If you are a batterer/perpetrator and have been court ordered to seek help in stopping the abuse, or are self referred, please call 818-606-7531 for more information, or visit our website at www.nvamc.com.
For more information about the effect of abuse on children, stopping the cycle of domestic violence, resources to help a victim recovering from domestic violence abuse, please visit the following websites: