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Domestic Violence

Impact On Victims And Children

The impact of domestic violence on victims varies according to the intensity and the type of violence inflicted. Victims may need to seek medical attention for injuries; may experience psychological problems such as depression and anxiety; and may even die as a result of the abuse. The children of victims may also be negatively affected through exposure to such violence. Children who witness domestic violence may experience feelings of depression and anxiety, have difficulty interacting with other children, and display increased rates of aggression. Some research suggests that children exposed to domestic violence may have an increased risk of becoming a victim or victimizer in future relationships. Children in violent families are also at greater risk for being abused themselves. Nevertheless, even though domestic violence can have serious consequences on the physical and emotional well-being of children, not all children exposed to violence will be affected to the same extent. Researchers have been limited in their ability to study the range of effects on children because the researchers often focus their studies on children in shelters, who may display more severe problems than other children. Additionally, it is difficult to determine the number of children who witness violence because the rates of occurrence available are only estimates that may underrepresent certain populations.

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 3Domestic Violence - Types Of Violence, Incidence, Impact On Victims And Children, Causes Of Domestic Violence, Legislation And Support Services