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Domestic violence and its effects on children

Although divorce is often the preferred option, many California couples decide to stay together for the sake of the children. Sometimes, this might be a good idea. However, in many instances this line of thinking can actually do more harm than good. One such situation is when domestic violence is involved.

At times, when the domestic violence is not aimed at the children, the abused individual is hesitant to seek help and leave the relationship. This individual often thinks that because the abuse is not directed toward the children, they are not harmed by it. Research, however, shows that this is not the case.

Statistics show that one in 15 children witness episodes of domestic violence in a given year. This exposure can have a lasting effect on these children. Many times, children who act out in school are doing so in response to a domestic violence or another stressful situation stemming from their home. While on the surface this appears to be disruptive behavior, it can actually be their way of seeking attention and help.

Many children who witness domestic violence at home either become bullies or the victims of bullies at school. This can disrupt and affect not only this child, but the entire class of children. In addition to the obvious disruptive behavior, it can actually have a negative effect on student learning and test scores.

Staying in an abusive situation for the benefit of the children may sound like a noble idea. However, just about anyone who works in the school system can attest to the fact that when domestic violence is involved, the children are generally aware of it and that it does have a tremendous impact on them. Individuals who find themselves in such a situation can often find relief through the California court system.

Source: greenwichsentinel.com, "Column: Domestic Violence: The Classroom Disrupter", Mary Lee A. Kiernan Downtown, April 8, 2017

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