Whether the youngster is a direct victim or a bystander, exposure to violence can result in long-term physical, mental, and emotional suffering. Children who are exposed to violence are more likely to endure severe consequences, such as prolonged stress. Depression. Anxiety. Low self-esteem. Conduct problems. Violent behavior as an adult.
The individual effects of violence may not be obvious immediately after it occurs. For example, someone who is beaten up by another person might appear fine after the attack. However, over time, the impact of violence becomes clear when you consider how it affects the victim's life.
Exposure to violence can have many negative effects on an individual's health. It has been estimated that between 20% and 90% of children living in countries where violence is a problem will experience some form of trauma from which they will never recover. The types of trauma that children face include physical injuries, sexual abuse, witnessing violence, community violence, and daily violence at home. These children are at risk for developing serious psychological problems later in life.
Many, but not all, young kids who are exposed to violence suffer behavioral, emotional, or learning issues as a result of this traumatic experience. What is less commonly understood is that adversity, such as violent exposure, may cause hidden physical changes inside a child's body. These changes can lead to health problems later in life.
If you think your kid is affected by violence, here are some signs they may be suffering emotionally:
Your child complains about feeling sad or afraid often. If they don't talk about their feelings, though, they risk developing clinical depression or anxiety disorder at a very early age. Young kids should never be forced to talk about their feelings, but if they seem anxious or fearful around other children their age, it's probably because they're experiencing something upsetting.
Young kids who are exposed to violence may try to copy what they see. This could be positive (if your child likes to watch people fight, for example) or negative (if they like to copy the behavior they see during fights). Either way, this tendency is normal and doesn't mean your child will become a criminal or victim themselves.
If you suspect your child may have been exposed to violence, speak with an expert. There are counselors who work with kids of all ages to help them deal with these issues.
According to recent research, children who are exposed to communal violence continue to demonstrate a bodily stress response up to a year after the experience, suggesting that exposure to violence may have long-term detrimental health repercussions. Research on adults has shown similar results: people who have been through violent experiences are more likely to develop physical and mental illnesses later in life.
Violence is defined as any act that causes or can easily cause pain without killing or injuring. It includes acts of violence and threats of violence such as punching, kicking, hitting with an object, threatening with a weapon, and sexual assault. Violence can be either direct or indirect. Direct violence is inflicted on individuals while indirect violence involves the destruction of property. Violence is often motivated by anger that can't be expressed properly other than by causing harm to others.
When someone experiences violence it can change them physically, mentally, and emotionally. They may feel afraid, sad, guilty, or ashamed and this can lead to having difficulty sleeping, eating well, and concentrating at school/work. Violence also causes stress to those around it because they must watch what they say when not face to face, keep secrets, and worry about their own safety. Finally, violence is harmful to society because it uses up valuable resources that could be used to help others.
People who experience violence are more likely to become victims of further violence.
Children who are exposed to violence and other adversity are significantly more likely to smoke, abuse alcohol and drugs, and engage in risky sexual behavior. They also have greater rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, such as suicidal ideation. Violence against children can have long-term negative effects on their physical and mental health.
Physical effects of childhood violence include scars from beatings, broken bones from thrown objects, and brain damage from blows to the head. Children who experience violence at home are almost always also victims of neglect. They may not receive proper medical care because their parents cannot or will not take them to doctors, nor do they get the necessary nutrition and rest they need. Mental health problems occur for the same reason as physical problems-- because kids need to be healthy to function properly in school and with others.
The most effective way to prevent violence against children is through early identification and intervention. This means that if someone observes signs of abuse, they should contact a child protection agency immediately so that the child can be placed in a safe place.
Childhood violence causes millions of children across the world to suffer physically and mentally each year. If you are concerned about a child you know, ask them how they are doing and give them our number in case they need help or want to talk.
Children and young people who are exposed to domestic abuse suffer emotional, mental, and social harm, which can have an impact on their development. Some youngsters lose their ability to empathize with others. They may develop aggressive behaviors or become victims themselves.
Domestic violence also has a negative effect on the health of children and adolescents. Unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, drinking, using drugs, and poor nutrition add further risk factors for anxiety and depression. If children witness violence at home, they're likely to replicate it themselves. This is called "learning from example" and it's one reason why it's important to educate children about healthy relationships.
Young people who experience domestic violence are 3 times more likely to be involved in violent acts than others. This is because those who have been through this experience feel compelled to defend themselves if they believe someone will again try to hurt their loved ones.
If you or someone you know is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. The hotline offers free, confidential information over the phone 24 hours a day. A trained counselor will discuss options with you, help you find local resources, and connect you with legal aid programs. You can also visit www.thehotline.org for more information.
Children who witness or are victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are more likely than adults to have health issues. These can include mental health issues including despair and anxiety. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, low self-esteem, and other issues may also be present. The effects can be harmful or even fatal if not treated.
People who experience or observe violence may suffer from symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, anger problems, fear, guilt, resentment, loneliness, confusion, vulnerability, self-doubt, denial, helplessness, or empowerment. These people may also try to repeat the behavior they see around them in an attempt to avoid further pain or discomfort. This type of behavior can lead them down a path toward addiction.
Those who witness or are victims of violence may feel confused and guilty about how they feel. They may believe that they deserve what they experienced because of some wrong they did. They may also feel like it's their job to protect others from getting hurt or feeling vulnerable. All of these thoughts are normal for children and teenagers, but it isn't your role to fix these mistakes by repeating them yourself or by allowing others to do so. You must learn to trust your feelings and know that you are not responsible for another person's actions.
Children who witness violence need our help. They are often afraid to tell anyone about what they saw because they don't want to be hurt again.