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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The month of October is a time to honor survivors of domestic violence, to raise our voices against abuse and to work towards prevention.

The Star News: Violence in the Home Long Lasting, Far-Reaching Effects

Each year in the United States, more than five million children witness violence in their home - the very place where children should feel safe.

Domestic violence knows no boundaries and happens among all demographics, levels of income and education. From athletes to celebrities to next door neighbors, media stories about domestic violence incidents continue to make headlines.

For a child, experiencing abuse, whether as a direct victim or an observer, has a profound effect on the developing brain of a child.  Self-esteem, the ability to learn, sleep patterns and physical health are all impacted. Without intervention, it begins a chain reaction that can change the course of the rest of a child’s life and can perpetuate the cycle of violence.

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Impacts of Violence on Children

source: Childhood Domestic Violence Association

  • 5 million children witness domestic violence each year in the US

    40 million adult Americans grew up living with domestic violence

    Children from homes with violence are much more likely to experience significant psychological problems short- and long-term

    Children who’ve experienced domestic violence often meet the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) and the effects on their brain are similarly to those experienced by combat veterans

    Domestic violence in childhood is directly correlated with difficulties learning, lower IQ scores, deficiencies in visual-motor skills and problems with attention and memory.

    Living with domestic violence significantly alters a child’s DNA, aging them prematurely 7-10 years

    Children in homes with violence are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate 1500% higher than the national average

    Those who grow up with domestic violence are 6 times more likely to commit suicide and 50% more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol

    If you grow up with domestic violence, you’re 74% more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else

    Children of domestic violence are 3 times more likely to repeat the cycle in adulthood, as growing up with domestic violence is the most significant predictor of whether or not someone will be engaged in domestic violence later in life

 

Costs to the community 

source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • There are 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence (physical assault, rape, and stalking) against women age 18 and older in the United States each year.
  • These incidents result in 1,300 deaths and 2 million injuries, 555,000 of which require medical attention.
  • Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of nearly 8 million days of paid work (the equivalent of over 32,000 full-time jobs) and 5.6 million days of household productivity each year.
  • The costs of these victimizations exceed $5.8 billion annually.
  • A recent study of abusers in the workplace found that domestic violence offenders were likely to use work time and workplace resources to contact victims for abusive purposes.
  • Seventy percent of men who attend batterer's intervention programs report losing work time due to domestic violence arrests.