Domestic violence and children

  • By Sahana Rajan

After a few such nights passed by, the knot in my stomach became unbearable. Me and my family decided we had to do something. We reached out to the parents of the wife. Once we explained the situation to them they called their daughter, we heard the phone ring and then a loud noise of the phone being smashed against the wall. We then got a call back from the parents of the wife to call the police. Once the police showed up for some reason, the wife refused to make a complaint or file a case. Her husband was standing right behind her, and their child still crying from inside the room.

The effects of all this of domestic violence on their child was unimaginable. You may not realise this on the surface of but once you begin to understand his personality you will see the influence it had on him. Here are some instances of the emotional changes that can be seen in children who have been witness to domestic violence.

  1. Simple things like the door shutting a little harder than usual would startle them.
  2. Children who have been witness to domestic violence will become withdrawn.
  3. They will get more and more non-verbal around the house, distance themselves,
  4. Feelings of anxiety are common, along with the continuous fear of being guilty, blamed, etc.
  5. Children, who are subject to domestic violence, can often get caught in the middle of it.

Teenage relationships, which show signs of verbal, mental, emotional, or even physical violence, have a much higher possibility of seeing more of the same post marriage.

Statistics suggest that 50% of all domestic violence extends to the children as well (being caught in the crossfire). 25% of children will continue to perform domestic violence at home on their children as well. It almost becomes a mental trait to be able to get aggressive. An English movie called the “The experiment” has a similar context. When in situations where violence is accepted and okay, people begin to use it as a tool to get things done.

Depression is also a commonly seen in children who are accustomed to domestic violence. The feeling of powerlessness and helplessness makes children do things on the basis of fear than any other emotion. Children will also begin to think of the entire world as an unsafe place. Girls tend to hide their emotions while boys will act out with hostility.

Violence in pregnant women can lead to infant low infant birth weights, premature birth, fetal death, etc. In many countries across the world, feticide is a crime punishable by law under the context of murder.

Domestic violence can stunt the emotional growth and well-being of a developing child. The emotional trauma they face will trickle into all other aspects of life.