Domestic violence inflicts physical, psychological, emotional, economic and/or sexual harm. Perpetrators could be of either gender or any relation to the abused. Abusive acts could be punches, verbal assaults, or refusing to provide food or education.
What do children who have experienced domestic violence have in common with combat veterans? Both groups often suffer from the emotional and neurological symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). UNICEF reports that this global dilemma is “one of the most damaging unaddressed human rights violations in the world today”. This is a horrific epidemic in America: at least 5 million children witness it every year.
Experiencing domestic violence does not entail only direct abuse. Trauma results from seeing and hearing abuse take place or observing the after-effects such as injuries and damaged items. Children often notice heightened tension between the abuser and the abused as well.
How deeply does this violence impact children? Research suggests that it affects them on a chromosomal level, drastically altering the DNA and causing premature aging. Children exposed to violence in the home is strongly linked with learning difficulties, decreased IQ, and memory and attention issues.
While most citizens would agree that domestic violence is a scourge, such a stigma surrounds it that makes it difficult to address and correct. Those directly inflicting or suffering abuse tend to remain silent for fear of the law. Children who are unwilling witnesses to abuse do not speak out because of fear of further endangerment or the potential breakup of their family. Domestic abuse is often considered a private family issue into which few outsiders are willing to interfere.
Children dream of feeling loved and safe in their homes under their guardians’ care. Unfortunately, many of them are living through literal nightmares that are searing their hearts and minds with indelible scars. Fear and complicity are strongholds of abuse. The only way to eliminate them is to speak up and act. For more details and expert advice, consult the family lawyers at Jackson Law Firm in Round Rock, TX. Together, let’s end this nightmare.
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