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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that 'witnessing domestic violence can be as traumatic for a child as being the victim of physical or sexual abuse.' They consider themselves exposed to gender violence in their family environment to all minors who live in a home where his father or his mother's partner is violent against the woman.
In homes where violence reigns, sons and daughters are up to 15 times more likely to suffer physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect than in non-violent homes.
Numerous research studies have shown that minors exposed to gender-based violence can suffer physical problems, psychological disorders, behavioral problems, and cognitive difficulties derived from their exposure to violence:
- Stunted growth
- Eating behavior disorders (loss of appetite, anorexia, bulimia)
- Difficulty or problems in sleeping
- Regressions, less motor skills
- Psychosomatic symptoms (allergy, asthma, eczema, headaches, abdominal pain, nocturnal enuresis ...)
- Go to
- Depression, isolation
- Self-esteem disorders
- Post-traumatic stress and traumatic process
- Attachment or bonding disorders
- Delayed language learning and verbal development
- Delayed cognitive development
- Alteration of school performance
- Violence towards others (aggression, crime, cruelty to animals)
- Tantrums, disinhibitions, immaturity
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
- Self-destructive behaviors
- Poor social skills
- Introspection or withdrawal
- Disorders of empathy
All the listed disorders, as recognized by the Federation of the Association of Separated and Divorced Women, present different characteristics depending on the child's age, gender and level of development, the type, frequency and severity of violence, the type of intervention judicial, the accumulation of stressors and the presence of protective or resilient factors.
- By age, the care, attention and affection demanded by thechildren under 5 years old they cannot be adequately answered by their mothers, the victims, and they are the age group most exposed and vulnerable to violence. These boys and girls show weight stagnation, sleep disturbances, Eating disorders, toilet training problems, anxiety, sadness and inconsolable crying. They tend to be more aggressive in their personal interactions and often feel responsible for their parents' conflicts.
- Boys and girls between 6 and 12 years old they have greater control of their emotions, reasoning ability, a wider social circle. They also imitate the roles of their parents, feel concern or anger at the attitude of the victim mother, but curiously show admiration for the power and strength of the violent father. They have more fears, academic problems, aggressive behaviors, isolation, anxiety or depression, and a decrease in their self-esteem.
The family is considered the child's first socializing agent and the most decisive in the establishment of appropriate models of social functioning.
The transmission of violence from parents to their children has been the subject of study in numerous studies, and it has been shown that children exposed to violence, compared to those not exposed, more often they will mistreat their partners in adulthood, while exposed girls will be more likely to be victims of abuse by their partners.
Currently, the objective of many independent family and children's institutions directly related to the public power is to eradicate the transmission of gender violence between generations.
You can read more articles similar to Gender violence and children, in the category of on-site abuse.