Most cases of domestic violence normally occur in male-female relationship. In fact, according to the records of the US government, about 95 percent of cases of domestic abuse occur in relationships that involve men and women. Most of these relationships are marriages with children. These children are exposed to domestic violence. According to research, about 3-4 million children in the US alone are exposed to domestic violence.
There are several ways a child can be exposed to domestic violence. Getting exposed to domestic abuse can mean seeing or being present during the real incidence of domestic abuse such as sexual or physical abuse or both. A child may also become exposed to domestic violence by observing the aftermath of physical abuse like tears, bruises, blood, broken items, torn clothing and the likes. Another way through which a child can be exposed to domestic violence is by hearing fighting noises and threats from the parent’s room. The mother’s attitude of fearfulness and even tension in the home is another means through which children can be aware of domestic abuse. These are some of the ways through which children can be exposed to domestic violence. However, being exposed to battering affects children in many ways.
How children who are exposed to battering feel?
Domestic violence can have some negative effect on children. It can affect them psychologically and physically. It can also affect their academic performance and social relationship with other children. First, such children tend be very fearful and anxious at home. They are watchful and apprehensive of danger always. They don’t know what to do or what not to do or what will cause violence behavior. They always feel insecure at home especially when the bully is around. Such sense of insecurity at home can affect their children behavior and relationship with their parents and siblings.
Children who are exposed to domestic violence are always in pain internally even though they may seem to be happy to the outside world. They get annoyed and remain in pain when they see their peers in a normal family play and joke with their parents or when they hear about their parents. There is the tendency for them to become annoyed with their follow sibling or even any of their parents that trigger off the abuse. They will always like to keep the family secret and feel humiliated and embarrassed when their family condition is talked about.
Children who are exposed to domestic violence always feel vulnerable and isolated. They feel deprived of their parental attention, approval and affection. The dad is so domineering that their mom is not always around to give them the required parental attention.
Besides these emotional and psychological effects, their social behavior is also affected. There are two possibilities. Some may grow up becoming aggressive to other people. Another possibility is that some may become fearful and feel unsecure even in the midst of peers. This may make them to be too reserved.
The condition at home may not allow them to study very well. It is more likely that they will not perform better in their school.