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The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and Adolescents. Nicole Trabold, CSW Doctoral Student School of Social Work University at Buffalo. What is Domestic Violence . Frequently referred to as: “Battering” “Spouse Abuse”.

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the effects of domestic violence on children and adolescents

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and Adolescents

Nicole Trabold, CSW

Doctoral Student

School of Social Work

University at Buffalo

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

what is domestic violence
What is Domestic Violence
  • Frequently referred to as:
    • “Battering”
    • “Spouse Abuse”

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide3
Commonly referred to today as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

definition
Definition
  • Is the violence committed by a spouse, ex-spouse, or current or former partner (heterosexual and homosexual relationships)
      • All definitions per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2003

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide5
Motivation = Domination and Control
  • Strategy = Purposeful Coercion
  • Tactics = Selectively Chosen
  • Pattern = Episodic, Recurrent, Chronic
  • Impact = Injury, Fear, Pain, Isolation
          • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

four categories of violence
Four Categories of Violence
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Threats of Physical or Sexual Harm
  • Psychological/Emotional

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

physical violence
Physical Violence
  • The intentional use of physical force with the potential to cause death, disability, injury, or harm
    • Pushing
    • Punching
    • Biting
    • Slapping
    • Kicking
    • Choking
    • Use of a Weapon

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

sexual violence
Sexual Violence
  • The use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against their will
  • Attempted or completed sex act involving a person that is unable to consent
  • Abusive sexual contact

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

threat of physical or sexual violence
Threat of Physical or Sexual Violence
  • Use of words, gestures or weapons to communicate the intent to cause:
    • Death
    • Disability
    • Injury
    • Physical Harm

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

psychological emotional abuse
Psychological/Emotional Abuse
  • Trauma to a victim caused by acts or threats of acts, or coercive tactics such as:
    • Humiliating the victim
    • Controlling the victim
    • Destroying property
    • Using the children to control the victims behavior
    • Withholding money and/or transportation
    • Isolation from friends and family

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

fighting vs abuse
Fighting vs. Abuse
  • Arguments, disagreements, and differences of opinion are part of a ‘normal’ relationship.
  • What distinguishes an abusive relationship is the ongoing pattern of disproportionate control and coercion
  • Abuse is not a ‘fight’ between people of equal power, but occurs where there is an imbalance of power and control tactics are used

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

theoretical frameworks
Theoretical Frameworks
  • Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura)
    • Emphasis on observational learning
    • Violence was modeled and emphasized
        • Those that love you hit you
        • Those you love are people who can hit you
  • Feminist Theory
    • Violence is the result of a patriarchal social system that gives men responsibility for control over their female partners

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide15
Social Exchange Theory
    • Interaction is guided by a cost – reward analysis
  • Ecological Theory
    • This recognizes that no one theory can predict IPV

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

intimate partner violence and child abuse maltreatment
Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse/Maltreatment
  • A study conducted in a Massachusetts D.S.S found after a record review of suspected or confirmed child maltreatment cases that 32% also documented IPV - Hagen, 1994
  • A study by Stark and Flitcraft, 1998 found after reviewing the medical records of mothers whose children were seen in a hospital setting and were referred for child maltreatment that 45% had a documented history of IPV

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide17
40% of women who were seeking services at a battered women’s shelter reported that their spouse physically abused their children- Suh & Abel, 1990
  • According to Two National Surveys 50-70% of families with IPV also reported physical abuse toward the child – Bowker et al., 1988; Stauss & Gillis, 1990

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

in summary
In Summary…
  • Studies show that in approximately 50% of cases where women are victims of violence, children are victims of physical violence
  • Or… in 50% of cases of child physical abuse, women are also victims of physical violence

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

intimate partner violence harms children in various ways
Intimate Partner Violence Harms Children In Various Ways
  • Perpetrators of violence may physically harm their intimate partner and their children
  • They may sexually abuse their children or the children of their intimate partner
  • The physical abuse prevents the victim of violence from caring for the children

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

harms continued
Harms Continued…
  • Children may be coerced by the perpetrator to assist in the violence against the victim
  • Children witness violence
  • Perpetrators of violence may undermine interventions to protect children

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

so how do you ask about ipv
So how do you ask about IPV?
  • First and foremost – INTERVIEW THE WOMAN ALONE
  • Create a private space to conduct an interview
  • Conduct the interview in the primary language

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

how to ask
How to ask…
  • Be direct and nonjudgmental
  • Have good eye contact
  • Stay calm
  • Do not exhibit emotionally charged reactions
  • Do not dismiss what is being told to you

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

how do you start
How do you start?
  • You may want to start in a general manner…
    • “Because violence is so common in many people’s lives, I’ve begun to ask all my clients about it.”
    • “Many women I see are dealing will violence in their relationships. Some are too afraid to bring it up themselves, so I have begun to ask about it routinely.”

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

specific screening questions
Specific Screening Questions
  • Are you in a relationship in which you have been physically hurt or threatened by your partner?
  • Has your partner ever destroyed things you cared about?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex, or engage in sex that makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • Do you feel afraid of your partner?

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

more screening questions
More Screening Questions…
  • Has your partner ever prevented you from leaving the house, visiting family, seeking friends, getting a job, or going to school?
  • Has your partner threatened or harmed your children in any way?
  • Do you have guns in your home? Has your partner threatened to use them?
      • Questions from the American Medical Association Practice Guidelines for Screening for IPV

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

or sometimes you need to ask
Or Sometimes You Need To Ask…
  • Did someone cause this injury? (or insert black eye, broken wrist etc.)

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

do you screen in front of children
Do You Screen in Front of Children?
  • If the child is 3 or younger it may be fine
  • However it is best to take the lead from the mother… so ask
  • Some factors to consider why not to have children present:
    • Women fear the children will accidentally disclose
    • Fear of traumatizing the child by listening
    • Need to protect the abuser
    • Concern that the child would worry and want to protect
          • Zink and Jacobson 2003

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

what next when the ipv screen is positive
What Next When The IPV Screen is Positive?
  • Safety Plan, Safety Plan, Safety Plan

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

what is a safety plan
What is a Safety Plan?
  • A tool to assist in identifying options, evaluating those options and committing a plan to reduce the risk when confronted with threat of harm or with actual harm

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

developing a safety plan
Developing a Safety Plan
  • When your partner escalates where can you move that is low risk
    • **avoid the kitchen, garage, or rooms where there are weapons **
  • Use your judgment or intuition – if the situation is very serious what can be done to calm your partner

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

safety planning continued
Safety Planning Continued…
  • Where can you leave money, important documents and cloths (i.e. with someone or have a bag packed and hidden)
  • Can you create a code word or signal with a friend or neighbor that indicates the need for help
  • Is there a safe place to go - Is it appropriate to have a plan of escape

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

safety planning
Safety Planning…
  • Do they have an Order of Protection
    • Is it with them at all times
    • Are copies provided to those who need it (hospital, local police departments, friends or family, employer, children’s day care)
    • What will you do if your partner violates the order

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

safety planning33
Safety Planning…
  • Provide community resources in a manner that is safe from the partner

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

how does witnessing ipv affect children
How Does Witnessing IPV Affect Children?
  • Children’s Problems Associated with Witnessing Violence have been categorized as:
    • Behavioral and Emotional
    • Cognitive Functioning and Attitude
    • Longer Term

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide35
Children who witness parental IPV may exhibit
    • aggression
    • hostility
    • anxiety
    • social withdrawal
    • cognitive-functioning problems
    • depression
    • lower-verbal and quantitative skills
    • attitudes supporting violence
        • (Edleson 1999)

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

impact of exposure to domestic violence
Impact of Exposure to Domestic Violence
  • Increase in Externalizing Behaviors
    • Aggressiveness
    • Behavior problems in school
      • Temper Tantrums
      • Fights

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide37
Increase in Internalizing Behaviors
    • Depression
    • Suicidal Behavior
    • Anxiety
    • Fear
    • Phobias
    • Insomnia
    • Bed-wetting
    • Low Self-Esteem

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide38
Cognitive and Academic Functioning Problems
    • Impaired ability to concentrate
    • Difficulty with school work
    • Lower scores in verbal, motor and cognitive measures

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

witnessing ipv and post traumatic stress disorder ptsd
Witnessing IPV and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Study by Kilpatrick, Litt and Williams (1997) showed that 85% of children ages 6-12 who witnessed IPV had moderate to severe PTSD symptoms
  • Compared to 0% of the control group who had witnessed no violence

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

ptsd symptoms may be
PTSD Symptoms May Be
  • Emotional Numbing
  • Increased Arousal
  • Avoidance of Reminders of the Violent Event
  • Obsessive or Repeated Focus on the Event

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

long term implications
Long Term Implications
  • Retrospective studies have shown that negative effects of IPV persist into adulthood with increased rates of
    • Depression
    • Poor Self-Esteem
    • Violent Practices in the Home
    • Criminal Behavior
          • Fantuzzo and Mohr 1999

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

impacts of violence on child development
Impacts of Violence on Child Development
  • Infancy
    • Insecure attachment

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide43
Toddlers
    • Hesitancy to explore
    • Separation Anxiety
    • Aggression
    • Withdrawal
    • Reduced ability to cope with frustrations
    • Communication problems

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide44
Preschoolers
    • Disrupted Interpersonal Relationships
    • Cognitive Difficulties
    • Lack in peer support
    • Caretaking by child

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide45
School-age and Adolescents
    • Aggression, Delinquency
    • Self-Destructive Behaviors
    • Bias for interpreting hostile intent
    • Limited competent social responses
    • Depression, Anxiety, Fear
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms
        • Hypervigilance, Hyperarousal

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide46
Disruptions at one stage my contribute to the next stage further disrupting the mastery of the following developmental stages

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

how do you respond to children
How do you Respond to Children?
  • Believe Them

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide48
Allow children the opportunity to tell their story
    • Start with what they know and think
    • You can ask neutral questions to facilitate the process for them only if you see they are willing to share
    • Do NOT ask further questions if the child appears uncomfortable or unwilling to continue the discussion

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide49
Reflect Back on and Validate Their Feelings
    • That must have been scary for you

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide50
Provide Reassurance - Children Need to Know That Adults are Available to Help
    • You may respond by saying:
      • It is not their fault
      • Violence is NOT ok
      • You do not deserve to have violence in your family

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

what helps children exposed to violence
What Helps Children Exposed to Violence?
  • Help Children Identify Safe People
    • Having a powerful relationship with an adult is important in healing from trauma
    • Children need to have an adult that believes in them

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide52
Provide Nurturing, Time and Attention
  • Provide Structure and Consistency
  • Humor
  • Creativity
  • Involvement with Activities

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

interventions for children exposed to violence
Interventions for Children Exposed to Violence
  • Help to Re-Establish a Safe Environment
  • Identify the Non-Offending Parent and Provide Information, Resources, Support and Advocacy

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide54
Assess the Child, Family Living Situation and Events Child Has Been Exposed to

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide55
Recommendations Will Depend on
    • Child’s age
    • Stage of development
    • Nature and duration of symptoms
    • Child’s functioning
    • Child’s perception of and experiences with the violence

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide56
Current Environment
  • Presence of adults for emotional support
  • Cultural and ethnic definitions of violence

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide57
Therapeutic Interventions are Many Times Appropriate
    • Group
    • Individual

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

group interventions
Group Interventions
  • Generally Target ages 5-15
  • Less Helpful to Preschoolers
  • Not Appropriate for More Traumatized Children
  • Not Appropriate to Children with More Complex Needs
  • Provide Assistance with Developmental Tasks

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

four major goals of groups
Four Major Goals of Groups
  • Break the Family Secret
    • Defining violence
    • Sharing personal experience
    • Learning about feelings

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide60
Learning to Protect
    • Assertive conflict resolution
    • Safe/Unsafe touching

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide61
Positive Experiences in a Safe Environment
  • Strengthening Self-Esteem by Positive Reinforcement
        • Peled and Davis 1995

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

individual
Individual
  • More Appropriate for Younger Children
  • Children Who are More Impulsive
  • Have Fewer Peer-Relationships
  • This Intervention Promotes Discussion
  • Helps Children Understand and Cope with their Feelings
  • Helps Reduce Symptoms (i.e. insomnia, nightmares)

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

interventions that help children involve a range of disciplines
Interventions that Help Children Involve a Range of Disciplines
  • Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

so what happens now
So What Happens Now?
  • What Does this Mean When you are Confronted with IPV in the Field?

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

guiding framework for interventions
Guiding Framework for Interventions
  • Recommendation 1
    • To achieve three outcomes
      • Create Safety
      • Enhance Well-Being
      • Provide Stability for Children and Families
          • All recommendations adapted from Effective Interventions In Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide66
Recommendation 2
    • Creating safety for the adult victim and stopping batterer assaults removes risk and creates permanency for the child

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

how do you create safety
How Do You Create Safety?
  • Service Planning With a Focus on:
    • Securing Safe Housing
    • Advocacy Services
    • Help Secure Financial Income
    • Emotional Support for Adult Victim & Children
    • Legal Assistance for Custody and/or Orders of Protection

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide68
Recommendation 3
    • Make Every Effort to Develop Separate Service Plans for the Adult Victims and the Perpetrator of Violence Regardless of Their Legal Status

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide69
Perpetrators Are Often Left Out Because They May Not Be
    • Living in the Home
    • Legally or Biologically Related to the Child
    • Inconsistent Presence in the Family
    • Make Workers Feel Unsafe

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

service plans for perpetrators should include
Service Plans For Perpetrators Should Include…
  • Cessations of All Forms of Violence to all Members of the Family
  • Cessation of Interference with Partner’s Efforts to Parent Safely
  • Compliance With Protective Orders and Other Court Mandates
  • Compliance With Batterers Programs

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide71
Recommendation 4
    • Keep the child with the non-offending parent whenever possible

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

remember
Remember…
  • To Avoid Blaming the Non-Abusive Parent for “Failure to Protect” Against the Violence Committed by the Batterer

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

people frequently ask why do victims stay
People Frequently Ask Why Do Victims Stay?
  • Victims of Violence Calculate the Risks and Benefits of Their Decisions
  • They May Ask Themselves-
    • “Will the violence escalate if I leave?”
    • “How will I support myself and children?”
    • “Where will we live, will it be safe for my children?”
    • “Should I leave and risk losing my children in a custody battle to the abusive parent?”

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide74
Recommendation 5
    • Avoid using or use cautiously interventions such as:
      • Couples Therapy
      • Mediation
      • Family Conferencing
      • Anger Management Classes

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide75
Recommendation 6
    • Pay careful attention to visitation arrangements that may endanger adult victims and their children

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

points to assess
Points to Assess
  • Perpetrators History of Abuse and Neglect to Children
  • Level of Continued Danger to the Adult Victim of IPV
  • History and Pattern of Abuse
  • History of Using Children In Violence or Exposing them to Violence

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide77
Level of Coercive Control Exhibited by The Perpetrator of Violence
  • History of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
  • Perpetrators Willingness to Accept Decisions From Victim, Law Enforcement etc.
  • Risk of Child Abduction
          • Bancroft and Silverman 2002

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide78
Recommendation 7
    • If a child needs to be placed in foster care, with a relative or with an adoptive family assessments prior to placement should
      • Determine Ability to Keep Child Safe
      • Ensure Safety During Visitation
      • Determine that Caregiver is Supportive of the Adult Victim of Violence

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide79
When Evaluating If a Placement is Appropriate

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

assessing the risk to children
Assessing The Risk to Children
  • Detailed Review of the Trauma
  • Current Symptoms
  • Developmental History
  • Reactions of Adult Victim and Perpetrator on the Childs Experience and Symptoms
          • Groves, Roberts and Weinreb 2000

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

assess for safety
Assess For Safety
  • Does the Adult Victim of Violence Perceive Themselves or Their Children to be Safe

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

parenting
Parenting
  • Adequacy of Victim and Perpetrator Parenting in the Context of IPV

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

risk of continued exposure to the perpetrator
Risk of Continued Exposure to the Perpetrator
  • Risk of continued undermining of Adult Victim Parenting and Relationship with Non-Abusive Parent
  • Continued Exposure to Authoritative or Neglectful Parenting

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide84
Risk of Continued Exposure to Violence
  • Risk of Learning Violent Behaviors
  • Risk of Being a “Tool” for the Perpetrator
          • Bancroft and Silverman 2002

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

nicholson v williams
Nicholson v. Williams
  • Class Action Court Case
  • ‘Battered’ Women and Their Children Challenged New York City’s Child Welfare Policies Regarding Cases that Involve IPV

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

the court findings
The Court Findings
  • The Child Welfare Agency Regularly Alleges and Indicates Neglect Against Battered Mothers
  • The Child Welfare Agency Rarely Hold Batterers Accountable
  • The Child Welfare Agency Failed to Offer Adequate Resources Before Removal

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide87
The Child Welfare Agency Regularly Separates Battered Women From Their Children Unnecessarily

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

the court issued an injunction
The Court Issued an Injunction
  • The Child Welfare Agency May Not Remove a Child on the Grounds that a Mother is a Victim of IPV Unless There is Imminent Danger to the Child
  • Reasonable Efforts Must be Made to Remove the Batterer From the Mother and Child Using All Possible Resources

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

injunction continued
Injunction Continued
  • Complaints Against ‘Battered’ Mothers to the Central Registry Shall Be Declared “Unfounded” if the Only Reason for Services Was IPV Related
      • Court Information Adapted from Jill M. Zuccardy, Esq. Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

resources everyone should know
Resources Everyone Should Know
  • New York State Adult Domestic Violence Hotline
    • English 1-800-942-6906
    • Spanish 1-800-942-6908

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation

slide91
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
    • 1-800-537-2238
  • Violence Against Women’s Act National Hotline
    • 1-800-799-SAFE

2003 CDHS, College Relations Group, BSC Research Foundation