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Is Mental Strain On Children The Only Problem Associated With Domestic Violence?

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It is one of the ironies where it can shatter the victim and most people do not even see it as a crime. Domestic violence is not only physical injustice towards the victim in a relationship but it is the mental pressure as well. Basically, it is when one partner tries to gain control and power over the other in a relationship (Smith and Segal, 2019). The issues resulting from domestic violence which will be discussed in this report are mental strain on children during this trying time and the effects on the victim. I chose this topic as it is a global issue and has been prevalent in our society for a very long time. This problem comes under the topic of family.


Mental strain on children

Around 15.5 million have witnessed domestic violence at least once a year in the United States, but in the houses of 7 million children, domestic violence is part of their usual routine which is even terrifying to think about. The UN secretary general conducted a survey from which it was concluded that 275 million children throughout the world have witnessed domestic violence (futures without violence, 2008). This source has many strengths as many statistics are given to prove the claim made by the page, but the name of the author is not given.

The children are all adversely affected when they experience domestic violence. The nightmares of the incidents mostly stay with them for their entire life. The children suffer academically, psychologically and attitude wise (Margolin, 1998). The name of the author has been given which is a plus point but the article is very old.

In 2014, UNICEF published a report which stated that the development of children is affected when they witness domestic violence and they also suffer academically (Zakar, 2016). When children see their parents going through this testing time, children of different age group and genders react very differently. Younger children start acting immaturely and they become attached to the parent who is the victim of domestic violence. They start wetting themselves while they sleep. While older boys express their frustration very openly and they become violent and stop listening to anyone. They may also start substance abuse so that they can leave their reality behind. While on the other hand the girls start keeping to themselves and they may start indulging in self harm and in drugs and alcohol (Davis, Balaguru, Kennedy). The reactions of different age groups are given so there is an array of information to prove the claim but not many figures are given.

Moreover, studies conducted by Lehmann (1997) concluded that many children who had experienced domestic violence could qualify as having PTSD. Adamson and Thomson also carried out a case study in 1998 and the results were that during violent situations, children who had witnessed domestic violence reacted with more force and vigor than the children who had not gone through domestic violence (Overlien, 2010). The reference of popular case studies is made which really proves the point.

School going children react very differently, they think that they caused the violence in their house and start to take responsibility for it. They become less confident and start getting in trouble a lot (Fink, 2019)

In addition to that, children tend to get depressed and anxious when they see their parent go through domestic violence. Their social skills are not fully developed, they are ashamed of their family and are very self-conscious. They feel very lonely and like to remain in solitude. Children tend to indulge in very dangerous activities. Excessive exposure to domestic violence can also lead to children committing suicide so that they do not have to face their family and the daily hardships anymore (Domestic Violence Prevention Center, 2020)

Furthermore, in my country, Pakistan, around 1800 people reported that domestic violence took place in their house from the years 2004 to 2016 and a survey was carried out which concluded that more than 51,241 women had faced unfair treatment and violence between the years 2007 and 2017. White Ribbon Pakistan, a very influential NGO conducted these surveys (Khan, 2019). The source mentions a reliable NGO so the claims and opinions have been backed by facts. In almost every case, children must have been involved and they would have observed the violence which would have greatly affected them.

Hence, we can conclude that this issue by saying that children are greatly affected by domestic violence and this is also proven by Graham-Bermann in 1994, who stated that children living in households with domestic violence will mostly suffer from anxiety (Khatoon, et al, 2011). The authors of this source are very experienced in the matter and have work experience from reliable organizations such as WHO, but the study was carried out 9 years ago.

Effects on victims of domestic violence

Victims of domestic violence face prejudice and bigotry and they cannot easily obtain different kinds of insurance e.g. health insurance, etc. Victims cannot easily raise their children and their family has been disrupted. They start getting depressed and anxious and there is a high probability that they indulge in substance abuse (Edwards, 2019). The date of publication has not been given which really questions the credibility of the source.

Pregnant women have to go through a lot and they have to face a lot of problems if they are victims of domestic violence. The Women’s Safety Australia carried out a survey and concluded that 42% of the women going through domestic violence were pregnant. They can become susceptible to many diseases, the chances of postpartum depression also increases (Astbury, et al, 2000). The source is a little outdated but it mentions an important organization and statistics are given.

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Violence can cause many problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, there is difficulty in eating and there is a high probability of victims committing suicide. The World Health Organization conducted a survey in 2013 that people who experienced domestic violence had twice as much chances of going into depression than people who had not gone through domestic violence (WHO, 2017). The source is of a reliable website so it has high chances of being authentic.

Women having faced domestic violence have higher chances of acquiring syndromes such as OCD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The British Crime Survey reported that in the UK, 27% of women and 17% of men experience domestic violence (Paddock, 2012).

There are many physical issues faced by the victims of domestic violence. They have recurring heart and chronic conditions and the probability of them having asthma is also great. Bruises, cuts and scratches are part of their daily routine. The risk of broken bones greatly increases and the chance of women having problems during their pregnancy also increases. The transmission of sexually transmitted diseases also increases due to unprotected and forced sexual contact.

The psychological trauma caused by domestic violence is that victims are discouraged and they think that they have no future and they do not know what they will do if and when they escape from this nightmare called domestic violence. People stop believing in others and lose all faith and after going through such hardships they are afraid to become attached to anyone or to form a special bond with anyone after the incidents. The victims lose all focus, they are lost in their own thoughts and are confused. Victims always think about their experiences and in many cases they cannot let go and it becomes a part of their life (Meyer, 2017).

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that around 3000 women faced many kinds of violence in 2016 (Qayyum, 2017). In Pakistan, domestic violence is a much stigmatized topic and is not discussed openly. Victims are expected to ignore the abuse and continue to live on normally so the honor of their family is not tarnished. Asma Aziz reported a case of domestic violence, her husband stripped off her clothes in front of his employee, and he shaved her head and put her hair on fire. When she went to the police, instead of helping her they asked for money (Dawn, 2019). In our society, women generally do not leave their husband and do not opt for divorce or separation due to the economic constraints, in most cases women believe that it is their fault and that they brought the beating on themselves as over the years this is what they were taught (Kaur and Garg, 2008)

Therefore, we can conclude that the victim of domestic violence has to face psychological, physical and emotional trauma which does not easily vanish and stays with the victim throughout their lives. Wherever they are, there will be days when they will think about their lives during those troublesome days.

Comparison of issues

In the explanation of both issues, many sources have been given which prove the point of view. A few sources are from very reliable organizations especially in the explanation of the second issue. The sites with the high credibility are World Health Organization and the United Nations. While providing facts for the first issue the number of sources are greater but, the number of authentic and reliable websites and organization is comparatively fewer.

Courses of action

The law regarding domestic violence should be implemented. Numerous times people get away with this heinous crime due to negligence of the law enforcement officials. Implementation of the law is very important to get everyone on the right track and to make sure that the cases of domestic violence reduce.

Keeping the evidence and the research in mind I have developed a few courses of action. Increased awareness of the already existing domestic violence hotlines, such as 911 in the United States, the Madadgar helpline in Pakistan which take domestic violence cases very seriously and has a proper procedure and plan of action to handle them. The low income groups should have prior knowledge of these hotlines so they can easily gain access to the help. This is a preventative measure so that domestic violence can be controlled and prevented.

Awareness regarding domestic violence should be spread. Education about these topics should be made part of the curriculum on all levels of education and of every group, low or high income. This would be beneficial as children from a young age would realize the seriousness of the issue. They would know that it is not acceptable and if they are facing these problems, victims and witnesses should know that they should talk to someone about it.

Conclusion and reflection

Even though, the victim is greatly effected throughout this ordeal but the family especially the children face many challenges as they are immature and their personality can easily get molded according to what they observe every day. So, I think that the children are face more negative consequences during all this. Even though I think that children are more effected, the evidence regarding the effects on the victims is also very important and has a very big role to play. Due to my research, my knowledge on this topic greatly increased and I have learnt a lot about this taboo subject.

Before my research, I had never really thought about this topic in depth and had never really pondered over the effects on children but after writing this report I have understood the dire results of domestic violence. Hence, it shows that my opinions have greatly changed and developed while conducting this research and with this, I conclude my repor

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Is Mental Strain On Children The Only Problem Associated With Domestic Violence? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from
“Is Mental Strain On Children The Only Problem Associated With Domestic Violence?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
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