Children – the silent witness of domestic violence

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Until recently, when talking about domestic violence not too many people think about the toll it also has on children.

A 2009 study done by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provided two very sobering facts:

  1. 9.8 percent of children surveyed reported witnessing a family assault, and
  2. 10.2 percent reported suffering some form of maltreatment (including physical abuse other than sexual assault, psychological or emotional abuse, child neglect, and custodial interference) during the past year.

Studies also show that children are present during 80 percent of the assaults against their mother. Witnessing this type of violence can then lead to the child becoming an abuser, or accepting abuse as the norm, when they reach adulthood.

As a way to help break the cycle organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline have resources available both online and via phone. If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

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