Domestic violence effects children

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Susan Stout
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

No one is immune from domestic violence. It affects people of every class, age, race, disability and gender. Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence. Statics show that more than 85 percent of victims are women. 

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that includes the use or threat of violence and intimidation for the purpose of gaining power and control over another person. 

Here in Arizona, every five minutes an officer receives a phone call related to domestic violence, according to the Arizona Governor's Office. In 2002 there were 28,209 arrests for domestic violence. In 33 percent of those cases, children were present. 

Children who witness violence between their parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

Children react to their environment in various ways and their reactions vary depending on their age and gender. Studies show that children who are exposed to family violence are more likely to develop social, emotional, psychological and/or behavioral problems than those who are not. They also show more anxiety, low self esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems than those who do not witness violence in the home. 

Many resources in the state are available for victims of domestic violence. The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence can be reached at (602) 279-2900 or (800) 782-6400. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is (800) 799-7233.