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Children of Domestic Violence Are Starting to Get the Attention They Deserve

Nov 5th 2014 at 2:16 AM

1888PressRelease - There are many reasons people stay in abusive or violent relationships, but for children, the reason is often that they have no choice. A few organizations, including Children of Domestic Violence - CDV.org and A Community for Peace, are calling attention to the impacts that domestic violence has on children, including those that last well into adulthood.

Domestic violence has been getting a lot of attention in the media, partially thanks to the designation of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month - but primarily because domestic violence is a social epidemic that we must put a stop to. There are many reasons people stay in abusive or violent relationships, but for children, the reason is often that they have no choice. Organizations, including Children of Domestic Violence - http://www.cdv.org and A Community for Peace, are calling attention to the impacts that domestic violence has on children, including those that last well into adulthood.

Domestic Violence Programs Must Address What Happens When You Grow Up Living With It

Domestic violence isn't simply a matter of an angry or abusive person and a partner who stays with them, as some would like to believe.

More often than not, there are children in the home who are affected even more strongly than the adults who are directly involved, even if the children are never physically abused.

Clearly, children in this situation would be insecure, sad, and angry. In addition to the feelings they have for the adults involved, they are being denied the basic human right of having a safe place to live. It follows that adults who lived with domestic violence as children are often resentful.

What isn't so well understood, though, are the other affects of this form of childhood trauma. Even if no one blames the child for what is happening, children worry that the problem is somehow their fault and feel guilty, and when they can't do anything to help the person they care about, they come to feel useless. Shame is the other feeling that typically accompanies childhood domestic violence.

To a rational observer, there is no reason a child should feel shame or guilt, but sadly, these both are common among survivors of childhood violence and strongly affect how they see themselves, resulting in low self esteem as adults.

Change Starts with Awareness and Education

On October 29, A Community for Peace, a California nonprofit, hosted a full-day conference on children exposed to domestic violence in an effort to educate people on "the impact of violence on a child's development through both a brain-based approach and behavioral understanding of trauma," according to the organization's website.

Children of Domestic Violence - CDV.org is a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to help those who experience domestic violence as children reach their full potential and break the cycle of violence." Their website offers training for people helping children who live with domestic violence.

For further information, and to find out what you can do to help, visit the website at CDV.org.

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