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In Honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the prevalence and consequences of domestic violence (aka Intimate Partner Violence). This article aims to shed light on the effects of domestic violence on adolescent children, emphasizing the urgent need for support and intervention. It also provides essential information on various types of domestic violence and includes resources such as My Sister's Place hotline ( and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) for those needing immediate help.

Domestic violence, a pervasive issue in society, has far-reaching effects on all family members including adolescent children. Growing up in an environment marred by violence, fear, and instability can profoundly affect their emotional,
social, and cognitive development.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year in the United States.

A study by the American Psychological Association found that children exposed to domestic violence are at an increased risk of developing emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems.

1. Emotional Impact
  • Depression and anxiety: Studies show that children exposed to domestic violence can experience symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence can develop PTSD symptoms in children, which may persist into adulthood, such believing that violence in families is normal.

  • Low self-esteem: Children exposed to domestic violence often believing that they are responsible for they are responsible for their fighting between their parents. They suffer from a diminished sense of self-worth and struggle with self-esteem issues.

2. Behavioral Impact
  • Aggression and violence: Adolescents exposed to domestic violence may exhibit aggressive behavior in their relationships and other areas of their lives.

  • Substance abuse: Research suggests a higher risk of substance abuse among children who grow up in households to cope with where domestic violence occurs.

  • Delinquency: Adolescent children exposed to domestic violence are likelier to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as truancy, theft, or vandalism.

3. Social Impact
  • Difficulty forming healthy relationships: Witnessing unhealthy relationship dynamics can influence adolescent children's ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships in their own lives.

  • Peer problems: Children exposed to domestic violence may experience difficulties in their peer relationships, such as social isolation or conflicts with peers.

  • Intergenerational transmission: Without intervention, the cycle of domestic violence can persist across generations, as children who witness violence may as adult abuse their own children.

Types of Domestic Violence:

​Domestic violence encompasses various forms of abuse, including but not limited to:

  • Physical abuse: Inflicting physical harm or injury.

  • Emotional or psychological abuse: Undermining an individual';s self-esteem, manipulating emotions, or exerting control through intimidation.

  • Sexual abuse: Forcing or coercing sexual acts without consent.

  • Financial abuse: Controlling or restricting access to financial resources.

  • Digital abuse: Using technology to harass, intimidate, or stalk.


As Domestic Violence Awareness Month reminds us, we must confront the
devastating impact of domestic violence on all family members resulting in child
abuse and neglect.

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