Over 300 Million children are impacted by Domestic Violence each year. What many people don‘t realize is that damage caused from domestic violence is much more than skin deep. Children who witness chronic Domestic Violence, even yelling and verbal abuse, show symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. PTSD is a mental illness that is mainly seen in war time veterans. Living with Domestic Violence is, in fact, like living in a ―War Zone. A child who lives with domestic violence in their home has experi-enced an Adverse Childhood Event or ACE. There has been much research around ACE‘s and the long term effects on our children. Children who are exposed to many ACE‘s have higher cancer rates, cardiac episodes and die at an earlier age. The risk carries on throughout adulthood.
Any action perpetrated by a parent that puts a child at risk of harm is child abuse. It is quite obvious that a child living in a home with chronic Domestic Violence is constantly at risk of harm if not physically, then mentally and emotionally. All states have laws in effect to protect children from physical, mental and emotional abuse, and this includes Domestic Violence. A moth-er may not leave for herself, but will leave to keep her children safe.
Please help us in our quest to protect our children from the cycle of Domestic Violence. The Community and Family Services Dept. has resources available to assist children and families impacted by domestic violence, but we can‘t help if we don‘t know. Please refer any families you know who are struggling with violence in their homes.
You can reach our office by phone (707) 487-9255, (707) 218-6005 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you see something, say something! We can all do our part to prevent child abuse and domestic violence.