Understanding the Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

Recent research discussed in USA Today suggests that young children who witness domestic abuse are just as likely to develop emotional and learning problems as those who suffer from the abuse themselves.

Likewise, the research seems to suggest that young children who live in abusive homes often display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Similar to what some soldiers experience after returning from combat. Syracuse divorce attorney, Richard J. Bombardo, explains that “although divorce can be devastating for children and parents alike. When there is domestic abuse involved, a divorce is almost always better for the children in the long-run.”

The fact is; research is fairly consistent when it comes to young children and the effects of watching domestic violence.

First, the lasting emotional and psychological trauma from witnessing parental abuse lasts years after the fact. Next, some children grow to develop unhealthy behaviors and coping mechanisms. Meanwhile others may develop avoidant behaviors, otherwise known as manufactured, in an attempt to feel safe in an unsafe environment. These defense mechanisms can develop and get much stronger as the children grow into adulthood. Lastly, this may lead to characteristics that can manifest in ways that make them more susceptible and vulnerable to abuse themselves.

Sadly, children of abusive marriages tend to be more likely to grow up to be in abusive relationships themselves.

This is true of boys and girls alike. As it’s not as much about gender as it is about power and conflict resolution. Children who learn from an early age that abuse and violence are a means of control tend to either succumb to future abusers more easily or become abusers themselves. This may mean displaying passive or self-abusive behaviors, and in severe cases it can lead to self-harm.

Ultimately, no one looks forward to divorce or thinks of it as a pleasant thing.

There will always be fears and concerns about letting loved ones down. Of failing one’s children, or making a tough financial choice. However, when it involves any form of abuse, divorce is generally a far preferable option than putting children through a harmful existence.

Children of abusive marriages are more prone to develop unhealthy behaviors.

Studies repeatedly show that children who witness domestic abuse tend to develop PTSD and other psychological conditions and become more likely to be the victims or perpetrators of abuse in adulthood. Therefore, divorce is almost always preferable to these types of long-term consequences for small children. Contact Us Today for your Child Custody Case.

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