Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP

Children Who Witness Domestic Violence Are More Likely to Practice Violence Themselves


Dallas, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/16/2015 --Domestic violence seems to be increasingly more prevalent in the United States, with reports of celebrities like Ray Rice and Chris Brown striking their significant others raising discussions about the effects of domestic violence on society, and those most vulnerable in society: children.

Domestic Violence Damaging for Children

Children who are witnesses to domestic violence show an array of behavioral, social, cognitive, attitudinal, and emotional problems as a result. Being exposed to domestic violence leads to children who are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior, experience fear and withdrawal, have learning problems, and be depressed and anxious, according to studies published in 2003. But emotional, behavioral, and learning problems are only the beginning of life-long problems that a child exposed to domestic violence may face.

Long-term Problems of Domestic Violence Exposure

Research also indicates that exposure to domestic violence as a child may make the child more likely to commit domestic violence as an adult. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, recently said in response to Ray Rice's domestic violence against his wife in September 2014, as reported by Politifact.com, that kids who see domestic violence happen are "twice as likely to commit it themselves."

Klobuchar isn't entirely incorrect, either—male children who are exposed to domestic violence are more likely to commit domestic violence as adults; female children, on the other hand, are more likely to become victims of the abuse. Ruth Glenn, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said that there's not currently enough data to make the claim that children exposed to domestic violence are twice as likely to become perpetrators. However, there is enough evidence to make the claim that children are definitely more likely to engage in violence themselves if they witness violence, but exactly how likely is still unknown.

Perhaps not surprisingly, domestic violence exposure is also linked to a higher likelihood of early death amongst adults who witnessed domestic violence as children. Exposure to domestic violence has also been linked to adult depression, symptoms of trauma, and risk factors for some of the most common causes of death in the United States, as well as general "poor quality of life," according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About Taking Action Against Domestic Violence
There's no doubt that domestic violence has serious repercussions for children who are exposed to it, regardless of whether or not the precise effects have been measured. That being said, if you know of a child who is witnessing domestic violence, or if you are a victim of domestic violence yourself, it's important that you take action now. At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, our family law attorneys can help you seek the legal recourse you need to protect yourself, file for a separation or divorce, and gain custody of your child. If you are a victim, let us help you by calling us now at 972-908-0692.

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Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP
5950 Sherry Lane #800 Dallas, TX 75225