Discuss and describe how exposure to intimate partner violence damages a child’s physiology, behavior and emotions

Children and violence


Use the readings and multimedia in this week to support your comments in this discussion. Be sure to cite the readings you reference within your discussion post. All citations should follow APA rules and at least two references must be included in each forum. Discussion must be at least 400 Words.

When children are exposed to violence in their homes, this is

threatening, scary and chaotic, and leads to experiences of uncertainty and fear. We now know that this exposure is stored in a child’s somatic memory and it creates long-lasting effects in their brain chemistry. The inability to integrate the traumatic experience interferes with how they process their emotions and how they behave in the face of even non-threatening stimuli. Discuss and describe in more specific detail how exposure to intimate partner violence damages a child’s physiology, behavior and emotions and what factors might help counter some of these changes in children.




At least 3.3 million children between the ages of 3 and 19 are at risk of exposure to parental violence every year (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, http://www.ncadv.org/). IPV is present in 60% or more of children’s protective services cases. (Whitney & Davis, 1999). Children’s responses to witnessing domestic violence are influenced by a number of factors. Some children experience a range of traumatic symptoms e.g., attachment/separation issues, numbing/dissociation, feelings of guilt/shame, anger/sadness, psychosomatic complaints, and suicidal ideation. While all children are affected in some way by their experiences of witnessing domestic violence, some do not experience traumatic symptoms. It is important to recognize the protective factors that support children’s resilience in coping with domestic violence. Children’s resiliency is enhanced by a supportive, nurturing relationship with their mother and disrupted by perpetrators who use children to try and control their partners. Social workers providing services to child victims of domestic violence in a variety of settings, mental health clinics, schools, in-home services, and child protective services need to appropriately respond to threats by the perpetrator to threaten and control their partner.

Young people, 12 to 19 years old, experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and youth, 18-19 years old, experience the highest rates of stalking. Add to that the 15.5 million U.S. children who live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and you have a huge number of young people in this country whose lives are affected—sometimes shaped—by violence. (The Facts on Tweens and Teens, and Dating Violence, Futures without Violence, retrieved on 5/15/16)

This week, we will explore both societal and developmental factors that influence both children’s and teens’ understanding and experience of violence in their homes and dating violence. In addition to the barriers that adult victims/survivors of abuse face tweens and teens face increased pressures about gender expectations and stereotypes about what it means to be a female or male in our society. The influence of the media, (news, and social media) public personalities, music, movies, arts and experience in schools can contribute to open conversations about dating violence or result in victim-blaming and become a barrier to identifying dating violence. New neurobiology research on the brain has found that the brain is still developing into a person’s early twenties. The impact of hormonal changes, brain development, and the environment can have a profound effect on children’s and teens’ behavior and problem-solving abilities. Given the complexity and inter-relationships of these factors, how do we engage young adults when we identify dating violence?





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