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How Witnessing Domestic Violence Affects Children

 Posted on July 30, 2023 in Divorce

Irving, TX family lawyerDomestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects millions of individuals worldwide. While the immediate victims of domestic violence undoubtedly suffer the physical and emotional consequences, often overlooked are the silent witnesses—children who are exposed to these traumatic events. It can have long-term, serious consequences on a child's development and general health. People seeking a divorce to get out of situations involving domestic violence should have the help of an attorney who understands the way domestic violence is handled from a family law perspective and from a criminal defense perspective. 

The Consequences of Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

Children who observe domestic violence may suffer severe psychological trauma. Anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from constant exposure to fear, aggressiveness, and instability.

Exhibiting behavioral issues is not uncommon for children who have witnessed domestic violence. They may become aggressive, disruptive, or exhibit regressive behavior, such as bedwetting or clinging to caregivers. After witnessing domestic violence, a child may come to view violence as a normal part of relationships. This normalization can perpetuate a cycle of abuse, with some children becoming perpetrators or victims of violence later in life.

The child’s physical health could take a toll, resulting in frequent headaches, stomachaches, and other psychosomatic symptoms. This can result in chronic stress, which can increase the risk of developing serious health issues in the future.

A child exposed to domestic violence may develop maladaptive coping mechanisms to handle stress and trauma. Self-harm, substance abuse, and risky behavior are some examples of potential coping techniques.

Legal Interventions and Child Advocacy

The legal system plays a pivotal role in protecting children who witness domestic violence. Obtaining restraining orders or protective orders can create a safer environment for the child and the non-abusive parent. Custody arrangements may need modifications to safeguard the child's well-being.

Child advocacy is essential in ensuring that the child’s best interests take priority during legal proceedings. Guardians ad litem or child advocates can represent the child's needs and preferences, ensuring their voice is heard.

The Law Office of Michelle Poblenz recognizes the gravity of the impact that domestic violence can have on children. The effects that follow can be devastating, shaping their emotional, behavioral, and physical health for many years. We work tirelessly to ensure children exposed to domestic violence have the help of any legal advocates they may need. We can also help you make sure you stay safe as you seek the help of an attorney; we will only contact you if it is safe to do so, and you can always trust that we will handle your case with sensitivity and complete confidentiality. 

Contact a Dallas Domestic Violence Attorney

A child who witnesses domestic violence can suffer devastating and unforeseen future consequences. Put a stop to the cycle and seek out a Tarrant County domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. The Law Office of Michelle Poblenz can represent you in these difficult times, so you do not have to face it alone. Call 469-845-3031 and let Michelle assist you today.

Source: https://www.dfps.texas.gov/Investigations/domestic_violence.asp

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