Kids need protection from exposure to psychological domestic abuse

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May 15 2017 - 3:07pm
Domestic violence

Researchers say that exposure to psychological abuse between parents is associated with more damage to the wellbeing of children as they get older than physical domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a very traumatizing experience for children. Both physical and psychological domestic violence can have serious emotional consequences for kids as they grow up

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that nearly one in four women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime. However, although women are usually associated with domestic abuse, men also are often victims of domestic violence from their female partners. Children raised in homes where domestic violence occurs may suffer from emotional consequences.

Exposure to psychological domestic abuse is most damaging to the wellbeing of kids

The University of Limerick has reported that exposure to psychological domestic abuse is most damaging to the wellbeing of kids. According to new research which was done at University of Limerick, Ireland
exposure to psychological abuse between parents causes more damage to the wellbeing of kids as they grow older than exposure to physical domestic violence.

Psychological abuse can consist of intimidation, name-calling, arguing, isolation, manipulation and control. Physical domestic abuse includes hitting, punching, kicking and the use of a weapon. This research has showed that children who grow up in homes with domestic abuse, in particular the psychological aspect of it, suffer from long-term consequences for their wellbeing.

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Social support has been found to be vital for recovery

Social support has been found to be vital for recovery from traumatic events in childhood. However this research shows that exposure to high levels of psychological domestic abuse may be associated with a decrease in young people’s satisfaction with the social support they receive.

It has been of interest to note that when kids were exposed to physical violence in the home along with psychological domestic abuse, there was a greater likelihood they would be happier with the social support which they were offered. It seems that psychological domestic abuse when it occurs alone is the most damaging. This may be because people often can not recognize and speak out about psychological abuse.

This study has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. The importance of assessing exposure to domestic abuse in terms of both physical and psychological dimensions has been highlighted. Psychological domestic violence may have an even greater negative impact on the future wellbeing of children than exposure to physical domestic abuse. Greater efforts are needed to recognize domestic abuse and to protect children from exposure to such unhealthy home environments.

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