As I was leaving the Criminal Court in Nashville last Friday, I noticed a program being presented by the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Curious, I went inside, made a donation, and sat down. The topic was "Children and Domestic Violence". Lani Ramos presented on the "Effects of Trauma on Children" . Here’s an excerpt from her presentation on the impact from birth to toddler.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has defined domestic violence as follows:
The term domestic violence is commonly defined as a behavior, or pattern of behaviors, that occurs between intimate partners with the aim of one partner exerting control over the other. Domestic violence may include psychological threats, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or physical violence. This clinical definition is broader than the legal definition, which may be restricted to acts of physical harm. In the past twenty-five years, public awareness of the issue of domestic violence has grown tremendously. As the scope of the problem has become understood, domestic violence is now acknowledged as a significant legal and public health issue, not only a private family problem. There are laws in every state that make domestic violence illegal.
Studies by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network note : exposure to domestic violence during the first 33 months of life puts a child in serious risk of cognitive and developmental impairments that may last a lifetime. A child develops the ability to think, feel, and relate to others. So, the template for development may be skewed.
Bottom line is that domestic violence effects all those around you.