What About the Kids?

Domestic Violence is a topic that could be discussed for days. When bringing up this conversation, the main focus is always on the two people in the relationship. However, the dynamic of the conversation changes when kids are brought into the mix of the conversation. The questions are asked out of concern for the child. Will the child grow up to be the same way? Is the child safe in that environment? Is the same thing happening to the child? What is this teaching the child? No one can really explain how a child views domestic violence unless they have witnessed the violence occur as children themselves. 

According to Domestic Violence Round Table, 3-4 million kids between ages 3 and 17 are at risk of witnessing domestic violence. Witnessing domestic violence can be tough on a child because you never know if they view it as something that's okay or something that frightens them. Kids are smarter than we think so if domestic violence is occurring at home then some can't help, but question the child's behavior at school. Is he or she violent towards other students? Does he or she have a short fuse? There's no telling what could be going on in a child's mind that witnesses domestic violence. Which is why it is important to follow the saying, "if you see something, say something".

For little girls who are witnessing their mothers getting physically and verbally abused by their fathers can raise a lot of questions within a young girls mind. "Is it okay if my future husband does that to me?" "Why does my dad do this?" It's heartbreaking when a young girl witnesses that because it can create problems for her future relationships. Her partner may end up hitting her and she won't fight back or potentially be scared of dating just out of fear that someone will become physically or verbally abusive towards her. Things could be worse, she could become abusive to her partner thinking that it's just a way of showing love.

There's also the prospect of a young male child who is witnessing domestic violence, it is a common statistic that young males who witness domestic violence are more likely to participate in an act of domestic violence with their spouse. There's also the chance of them being in a domestic violence relationship themselves. YES! Men can be victims of domestic violence. According to the Safe Horizon website, 1 out of 4 gay men, 1 out of 3 bisexual, and 3 out of 10 heterosexual men will experience rape, domestic violence, or stalking of a known person from their past at some point in their life. 

As said many of times, children are the future, and so no child should be raised in a home where domestic violence occurs often. This is why it is crucial to talk to children who may be showing the signs of being witnesses to domestic violence. A child may be acting out or withdrawing themselves from a group. If you ever see a child who begins to show these actions, it is crucial to talk to them, get them to express their feelings and seek help for them. Domestic violence is an on going battle and war has yet to be won.