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Domestic violence hurts children

A blog post from Dr. Lisa Fontes and Christine Cocchiola talks about how some kids can experience child abuse because of their proxy to domestic violence:

"People who abuse their partners may continue to control them through their children for years after they separate or divorce, sometimes referred to as domestic violence by proxy. Abusers who have demonstrated little interest in the children during the relationship sometimes enact a vengeful strategy of seeking shared or even full custody, using the children as pawns to harm the protective parent. This strategy seems to be a fulfillment of the common abusive threat, “If you try to leave me, I will take away the kids.” This hurts the victimized partner and also any child caught in the abuser’s manipulative web."

Sadly domestic violence or intimate partner violence often includes maltreatment of children in the home. This article, that summarizes a workgroup presentation on Preventing Violence Against Women and Children, highlights the tension:

"...several speakers noted that efforts to understand and address violence against women are often artificially separated from similar efforts to understand and address violence against children. They noted that programming and funding often target specific populations (e.g., women but not children, or vice versa) rather than using an integrated approach that focuses on common risk factors."

During this workshop it was highlighted that preventing this violence requires meeting basic needs for families:

"...a sentiment expressed by many workshop participants that individuals who are exposed to violence within their families tend to live in families that are experiencing a number of stressors on multiple levels.

Many of the stressors that were noted result from economic conditions and resource allocation at local, national, regional, and sometimes global levels. Some risk factors mentioned in this category include inequitable education systems, unemployment, marginalization of vulnerable populations, and poverty."


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