children exposed to domestic violence
No one is exactly sure how many children and teens see or experience domestic violence in the United States. Estimates vary from 3,000,000 to 10,000,000 each year. One thing is certain. Family violence devastates children and teens.
Children exposed to domestic violence are much more likely to become abusers or victims of abuse themselves. Studies indicate that the abuse of children often follows the abuse of a parent. More than half the children in violent homes become targets of abuse. And even if they are not themselves abused, watching the abuse of a parent inflicts unforgettable damage. Children who witness domestic violence often experience anxiety, fear, sleep disruption, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and have problems in school. Boys who witness violence at home appear more likely to use violence as they grow older. Similarly, girls who witness violence at home are more likely to expect violence in a relationship. To them, this behavior is normal, and, without intervention, the cycle of violence will continue.
Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Group
The Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Group is provided at no cost to families. It is designed for children and teens from violent homes. It provides a safe place to share their stories with other children who have been exposed to domestic violence, and to help put the violence into a healthier perspective. Group members provide support to each other while learning about domestic violence, how to express their emotions in healthy ways, and how to stay safe. The group is led by a licensed therapist and is for children ages 5 and older.
Who can come to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence? Requirements to participate include that the child can behave appropriately in the group setting, that a parent or caregiver remains on-site during group, and that the child has been exposed to domestic violence.
For more information, contact our Child Therapist at 256-716-4052.