October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The month of October is a time to honor survivors of domestic violence, to raise our voices against abuse and to work towards prevention.
The Star News: Violence in the Home Long Lasting, Far-Reaching Effects
Each year in the United States, more than five million children witness violence in their home - the very place where children should feel safe.
Domestic violence knows no boundaries and happens among all demographics, levels of income and education. From athletes to celebrities to next door neighbors, media stories about domestic violence incidents continue to make headlines.
For a child, experiencing abuse, whether as a direct victim or an observer, has a profound effect on the developing brain of a child. Self-esteem, the ability to learn, sleep patterns and physical health are all impacted. Without intervention, it begins a chain reaction that can change the course of the rest of a child’s life and can perpetuate the cycle of violence.
Impacts of Violence on Children
5 million children witness domestic violence each year in the US
40 million adult Americans grew up living with domestic violence
Children from homes with violence are much more likely to experience significant psychological problems short- and long-term
Children who’ve experienced domestic violence often meet the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) and the effects on their brain are similarly to those experienced by combat veterans
Domestic violence in childhood is directly correlated with difficulties learning, lower IQ scores, deficiencies in visual-motor skills and problems with attention and memory.
Living with domestic violence significantly alters a child’s DNA, aging them prematurely 7-10 years
Children in homes with violence are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate 1500% higher than the national average
Those who grow up with domestic violence are 6 times more likely to commit suicide and 50% more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
If you grow up with domestic violence, you’re 74% more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else
Children of domestic violence are 3 times more likely to repeat the cycle in adulthood, as growing up with domestic violence is the most significant predictor of whether or not someone will be engaged in domestic violence later in life
Costs to the community
source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: