Children and teenagers living in an environment of violence incur lasting effects. These often hidden faces of domestic violence and spousal abuse are rarely considered. Often times, it is the victimized spouse that is most worried about and cared for. Understanding the plight of these children is essential in looking after their wellbeing after the violence is removed from their lives.

According to various studies, about four million children under the age of 18 are exposed to or at risk of being exposed to domestic violence each year. U.S. government crime statistics say that 95% of domestic violence cases are man against woman assaults. It is the children of these women who are the most likely to be traumatized.

Children and teens exposed to this type of violence often become generally fearful and anxious. They are always on edge, waiting for the next thing to happen. They rarely feel safe, and almost always feel powerless. In many cases, these children hide feelings of embarrassment, fear, resentment, and humiliation.

Young people who witness domestic violence often display what could be called typical behaviors or, at the very least, easily identified behaviors. These include an inability to concentrate, sleep disturbances, depression, anger, an extreme desire to please, and even developmental delays. These kids often use violence as a way to solve problems and deal with issues because it is what they are used to seeing at home.

Even if the children themselves are not being physically abused, they can suffer with psychological trauma. Lasting effects can include the inability to maintain a healthy and safe relationship, depression, and a reliance on violence to express their anger or displeasure. Girls may grow up believing that abuse is “normal,” and should be expected in a relationship.

Children who grow up in homes where violence is the norm are at higher risk of alcohol or drug dependency, PTSD, and criminal activity. Domestic violence in the home is one of the major motivating factors in running away from home. While there is absolutely a lasting effect on the victims of domestic violence, children and teens should not be overlooked when it comes to therapy and other outside assistance.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, you need a competent, experienced attorney on your side. Contact our offices so that we may review the details of your case. We are here to defend your rights as you move through the court system. Call today for a free initial consultation.

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