Ongoing physical and emotional attacks can certainly take a toll on a person’s well-being. However, while the horrors of domestic violence are apparent in the victims, the children who witness their mothers, fathers, or siblings get maltreated are also significantly impacted.
Domestic violence is a part of many American homes, and around 10 million people are affected by domestic abuse incidents each year. If you are one of them, do not be scared to raise your voice with the help of a Sandy domestic violence attorney.
Consequences of witnessing domestic violence in children
Children who witness their parents or other family members experience domestic violence are likely to develop anxiety. They may always be on edge and fear for the next time physical or verbal abuse occurs in their home. Pre-schoolers may revert to old habits, such as bedwetting and thumb-sucking. School-going children often develop guilt and blame themselves for not being able to do anything regarding the abuse.
Depression is very common among child witnesses of violence. When a child witnesses domestic violence, they are scared and thus feel powerless and helpless. Depression is seen more in girls as they tend to internalize their emotions than boys, who tend to show aggressiveness and hostility. Witnessing violence in their own home can also contribute to low self-worth.
PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. Any person who witnesses or experiences something traumatic can acquire PTSD. Witnessing family members being hit or yelled at can be very disturbing for children, and they are enough to cause dangerous changes in their brains. Signs of PTSD in children may include nightmares, anger, irritability, changes in sleep routine, difficulty concentrating, etc.
Children develop various emotional symptoms after witnessing the abuse; one of them is anger. Some children tend to act out in anger and become more aggressive, even in situations that do not call for anger. Feelings of anger accumulate as the child feels sorry for the victim. Therefore, they may have highlighted angry feelings.
Extreme consequences of developing mental health conditions can sometimes become apparent in their physical well-being. Children may suffer from headaches and stomach pains due to the tense situation at home.
Lack of social skills.
Children are in their developing stage and need the much-needed foundation of safety and security. Unfortunately, children living in abusive homes experience aggressive behavior, poor problem-solving skills, poor anger management, and tend to be drawn to exploitive relationships. Symptoms may also include isolating from friends and family to stay close to the victim.
Therefore, domestic violence does not only have the power to affect the victim but everyone else in the house as well. If you experience domestic violence and have children, you must seek justice with the help of an attorney.