Each year, millions of children in the United States experience some form of maltreatment. Such traumatic incidents, particularly in the early stages of development, can have a disturbing impact on children. Children in domestic violence homes are faced with more stress, mental health concerns, internal and external difficulties compared with children that are not involved in family violence. In order for children to witness or experience this type of behavior, the child must have caregivers that subject him/her to this type of abuse. Violence is a learned behavior, which is often learned when a child is very young. Young children can be taught nonviolence, from the best teachers they have, the parents and other caregivers. Children can learn constructive ways to solve problems, deal with frustration, and handle anger. Children who discover these skills early in life are far less likely to grow up to be violent, or to be victims of violence.
Prevention programs: Schools and community centers provide opportunities for children to benefit from the support of peers, which has been shown to be instrumental to children that have been exposed to violence. Some current methods for preventing the effects that domestic violence has on children is often targeted on strategies such as promoting positive parenting, attitude, skills, family parenting, parenthood preparation courses, and education and supportive services.
Stand up parents: Beyond the school and community, children need his/her caregivers to step up and keep him/her safe. Children also deserve to experience a home that is a safe haven. According to the article “The Development of Abusive Personality,” there is a strength based intervention that the Child Protective Services uses to help families avoid the harmful consequences of domestic violence and the aftermath of that situation. Families need to be held responsible and seek out the help when needed.
Counseling: When violence has entered a family, it is crucial that the family members get help. There are hotlines and shelters to help those in need, which most provide free counseling. Counseling helps family members get down to the core of the domestic violence issues. It can provide a safe place of support for the parents and children. Counseling can help break the cycle and heal domestic violence patterns for good. Never allow violence to steal your voice; always stand up for yourself and get the help you deserve. You do not have to remain a victim anymore.
The Development of Abusive Personality: A Trauma Response; David M. Lawson