April is National Child Abuse awareness month in the United States and The Canadian Women’s Foundation has launched a national campaign called Shelter from the Storm in awareness of Violence Against Women. Both issues are very important to me, so I will deviate a bit here from my usual topics.
I have some information here that I received when I was in a support group. I will say right off the bat that if there are children in the household where the domestic violence is taking place, the children are being abused as well. There is no question. It may not be physical abuse, but definitely emotional abuse.
FACTS ABOUT CHILDREN EXPOSED TO WOMAN ABUSE
(From the London Ontario Family Court Clinic Handbook)
- Children and adolescents who witness their mother being abused experience emotional and behaviour problems similar to children who are themselves physically abused.
- Children who whiteness woman abuse frequently experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms of PTSD include extreme anxiety, fear, irritability, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks about the violence, unpredictable anger outbursts, and avoidance of situations which remind the child of the abuse witnessed.
- Children and adolescents who witness abuse will frequently experience difficulty concentrating and behaviour and learning problems.
- Children and adolescents who have witnessed family violence are often misdiagnosed as suffering from attention deficit disorder, because the questions about witnessing family violence are not asked.
- Boys who witness their father abusing their mother are at greater risk of becoming an abuser in dating and marital relationships.
- Children and adolescents who witness family violence are at elevated risk of depression.
- Truancy, delinquency and running away from home are common in children who have witnessed woman abuse.
- Children and adolescents who have witnessed their mother being abused are at significantly high risk of physical and sexual abuse by the perpetrator of the woman abuse.
- Children and youth who witness woman abuse are in need of specialized intervention.
As parents we are the role models for our children. When children witness such disturbing behaviour from their role models it confuses their belief system. To begin with their brains are not fully developed and this just causes deep trauma that might not show up immediately.
I hope this makes people think!!
Have a Great Day!!