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The Children

Statistics on this site courtesy of Arizona Foundation for Women and The American Bar Association

Every day 4 children will die as a result of abuse.

More than 3 million children witness acts of domestic violence every year.

  • One-third of the children who witness the battering of their mothers demonstrate significant behavioral and/or emotional problems, including psychosomatic disorders, stuttering, anxiety and fears, sleep disruption, excessive crying and school problems. (Jaffe et al, 1990; Hilberman & Munson, 1977-78)

  • Those boys who witness their fathers' abuse of their mothers are more likely to inflict severe violence as adults. (Hotaling & Sugerman, 1986)

  • Data suggest that girls who witness maternal abuse may tolerate abuse as adults more than girls who do not. (Hotaling & Sugarman, 1986)

  • These negative effects may be diminished if the child benefits from intervention by the law and domestic violence programs. (Giles-Sims,1985)

  • The long -term effects of child sexual abuse include "depression and self-destructive behavior, anger and hostility, poor self-esteem, feelings of isolation and stigma, difficulty in trusting others (especially men), and martial and relationship problems, and a tendency toward revictimization." Finkelhor & Brown, 1988)

  • Other effects identified include runaway behavior, hysterical seizures, compulsive rituals, drug and school problems. (Conte, 1988)

  • Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by family members against their mothers or female caretakers. American Psychl. Ass'n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 11

  • In homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused.

  • 40-60% of men who abuse women also abuse children.

  • Fathers who batter mothers are 2 times more likely to seek sole physical custody of their children than are non-violent fathers.

  • In one study, 27% of domestic homicide victims were children.

  • When children are killed during a domestic dispute, 90% are under age 10; 56% are under age 2.

  • The emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse.

  • A major study of more than 900 children at battered women's shelters found that nearly 70% of the children were themselves victims of physical abuse or neglect. Nearly half of the children had been physically or sexually abused. Five percent had been hospitalized due to abuse.

  • Many children from violent homes find it hard to concentrate in school and often have periodic absences.

  • When children grow up witnessing abuse, they often have a difficult time with social relations.

  • It is common for them to have difficulty trusting others, display overly aggressive or passive behavior, difficulty problem solving, poor anger management, and isolation from friends and relatives.

  • A child from a violent home is also more likely to become an abuser or a victim of abuse.

  • Although it is not always apparent to others. It is common for children from violent homes to exhibit unhappiness at school, crying or reluctance to go home, guilt, shame, fear, hostility, and ambiguity.

In Arizona Alone

11 children died from abuse in 2000

Every 44 minutes one or more children witness a domestic violence incident.

Every day, 91 parents are reported for suspected child maltreatment.


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