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Child Abuse as a Form of Family Violence and Its Impact on Children Development


Child abuse is a social problem that is affecting the population globally. Family violence is castigating its growth, thus the need for intervention by various stakeholders. Children suffer the most from domestic violence and child abuse. A long-lasting solution is the only way societies will control the damaging effect family violence has on children and communities.

Child abuse

Child abuse is any form of maltreatment that a child experiences from an adult, often violent and threatening to them. Most people assume that child abuse is physical violence towards the child, which is often not the case. Psychological abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse are the various examples of child abuse that are prone to children. The selection reason for the child abuse topic is that the topic has been overlooked for a long time while children suffer at the hands of adults. Additionally, stakeholders need to join hands to spread awareness for a child protection plan to save our children. According to Child Protection Plans (2021), the purpose of the protection plan is to ensure that each child in the household is safe and prevent them from suffering further harm.

Family violence affects a great deal on child abuse and the child’s overall development in a family. Children experience emotional, social, and mental damage when exposed to a family violence environment. Child abuse mainly occurs as a result of family violence; thus, having enough understanding of child abuse might lead to a more informed understanding of its major cause: family violence. The paper explores various journal articles that have extensive information on child abuse and its effect on child and family welfare dynamics. First, one of the sources discusses the tension between domestic violence and child welfare fields on whether to report potential child abuse or neglect to the government.

Additionally, an emphasis on how parental surveillance is a structural phenomenon blended into family violence house policies and practices reinforces the cost of monitoring on surviving victims. The role that schools have to play in child abuse that s influenced by family violence at home. Family violence has extensive adverse effects, including child abuse, that should attract good policies for complete eradication.

Source 1

Domestic violence has a significant impact on a child’s life and contributes significantly to the emotional and mental growth of the child. The approaches to balance survivor empowerment with child abuse reporting display a better understanding of restoring a child’s safety and well-being. The source describes the nation’s most extensive victim assistance program that provides services to any victim of abuse, violence, or crime in New York City. The program’s objective is to ensure a common authentic understanding of their advocacy work without any discrimination on culture or racial lines. The program described in the journal article acknowledges challenges in practice, experiences, and trauma that complicate the relationship present in child welfare and professional responsibility. According to Amanda et al. (2020), the program constantly challenges their staff around their often-unintentional acceptance of the perpetrator/victim dichotomy. Welfare is one of the many organizations that indulge in bridging the gap between domestic violence and child welfare fields. Child abuse can only be eradicated until there is an integrated approach where multidisciplinary teams work collaboratively to ensure every family member’s support and safety, including the child. The collaboration is because the domestic violence advocates are better positioned to identify child neglect and abuse and intervene with suitable policies.

Source 2

Additionally, Dahake et al. offer an insightful review on the effects of child abuse and neglect n children. The source aims to study and describe a range of intimidating or bad experiences for the child because of acts of commission or omission on a liable caregiver. According to Dahake (2018), children experience abuse from their parents and adults; however, the clinicians or investigators do not detect the signs since they choose to ignore the possibility and convince themselves that such things do not occur. Various incidences of family violence have a detrimental impact on a child’s development that goes unreported. The article describes the factors responsible for child abuse and neglect in most families that experience family violence. Substance, drugs, and alcohol abuse are among the top factors contributing to child abuse and maltreatment.

Additionally, the frequent family violence in most households results from a lack of family support networks, marital problems, and economic problems. Studies have found that abused and neglected children are at least 25 percent more likely to experience delinquency, teen pregnancy, low academic achievement, drug use, and mental health problems (Dahake, 2018). Child abuse is a critical matter that needs to be tackled, considering the increased risk of suicides in victims who have undergone epigenetic regulation of glucocorticoid receptors.

Source 3

Lien Bragg describes child protection in families that experience domestic violence and how appropriate support can be given to both parties. The author quickly points out how domestic violence is a devastating social problem that affects nearly every population globally. Additionally, he admits that there has been an increased focus on adult victims of violence; however, the attention is progressively shifting to children who witness domestic violence in their homes. The article discusses the overlap between child maltreatment and domestic violence due to the previous co-occurrence of child abuse and domestic violence. According to Bragg (2003), in a national survey of over 6,000 American families, researchers found that 50 percent of men who frequently assaulted their wives also abused their children. Children who experience child abuse and witness domestic violence in their homes are more likely to have emotional and psychological disorders than children who witness domestic violence alone. The authors give a detailed explanation of the effect domestic violence has on children that gives a clear picture to his audience. There are categories of adverse effects of domestic violence on children: behavioral, social and emotional problems, cognitive and attitudinal problems, and long-term problems. Behavioral, social, and emotional problems are characterized by anger, aggression, withdrawal, depression, and hostility in children.

Additionally, lower cognitive functioning and lack of conflict resolution skills are among cognitive and attitudinal problems faced by children. Lastly, Long-term problems include higher levels of adult depression and trauma symptoms, increased tolerance for and use of violence in adult relationships (Bragg, 2003). The adverse effects on children demand professional response intervention to child abuse and domestic violence to search for common ground for both parties to cease causing adverse effects.

Source 4

How common is child abuse in violent domestic families? What explains the occurrence of child abuse in domestically violent families? These are among the question that the “Child Abuse in the Context of Domestic Violence: Prevalence, Explanations, and Practice Implications” article answers. The answers to these practical questions are offered using science-informed answers to depict the reasons behind domestic violence and child abuse accurately. The articles point out that different definitions of child abuse contribute to the variability of child abuse across different populations globally. Some societies might view “hitting a child with an object” as a form of child abuse, while others see that as a standard punishment for a child who goes astray. When a more inclusive definition of child abuse is applied, there is an increased rate of child abuse. The article further explains the reason for the prevalent occurrence of child abuse in domestically violent families. One explanation is that specific individuals have a propensity for aggressive behavior. Because of this propensity, anyone who spends time with these individuals (partners and children) is at increased risk of becoming a victim of violence (McCloskey, 2001). The explanation is plausible to violence that the same individual perpetrates towards a child referred to as co-occurring domestic violence and child abuse. Additionally, aggressive behavior, including both partners and child abuse, is triggered by stressful events or a series of events or circumstances that cause stress (Jouriles et al., 2008). Lastly, the article illustrates how family violence might hinder or not effective methods of treating child abuse.

Source 5

Vappu and Saveena are professors who explain details of family violence in their journal articles. They try to view family violence as sexual identity and sexual preference based on racism and ethnic background, age, and dis/ability have collided and interconnecting power dynamics. The authors point out that measuring violence in families is complicated, requiring multiple definitions and means of measurement (Tyyskä et al., 2013). The violence measure is revealed in the varying rates of family violence in different population areas globally. Women experience intimate partner violence more than males, considering the percentage of family violence reports at 85% by women (Ogrodnik, 2011; Brzozowski, 2004).

Additionally, women are receiving family violence since the violence against them is primarily severe compared to women’s violence against men. Lastly, the authors state that the different motivation on men abuse contributes to the high number of women victims of family violence. They conclude by pointing out as long as the counting is only on the instances type of abuse, there will not be a complete picture of abuse that women suffer at the hands of men.

Source 6

Family violence has a detrimental impact on a child’s psychological and social development. The journal article describes a child’s social and psychological adaptation when exposed t a family violence environment. Violence causes disorders and affects all levels of a child’s personality development, his/her emotional and cognitive spheres, and behavior (Majali & Alsrehan, 2019). Children who experience bullying in school can have much less psychological trauma later in life than children who first-hand experienced family violence at home. According to the author, the child’s cognitive development is affected, reflecting their academic performances. A child portrays outrageous external behaviors and social problems due to the family violence that they experience. Both retrospective and prospective studies published in recent years have revealed a close connection between cumulative traumatic events in childhood. These included abuse, family dysfunction, and social isolation, as well as illness of an adult’s physical and mental health (Lucas-Herald et al., 2012). The author concludes by stating that family violence affecting the child is a medical problem and the level of development in a society.

Source 7

Family violence might influence child abuse, thus causing adverse effects on a child’s school performance. The schools might have a potential role in examining domestic violence on young children who still attend school. Michael Lloyd elaborates on domestic violence in the wake of increased child abuse and neglect cases, raising eyebrows on the effectiveness of multi-agency responses to abused children. The articles explain the school’s role in helping address the needs of children and young people who attend the schools and experience child abuse or domestic violence. The authors suggest that teachers are well placed to play a pivotal role in identifying and responding to domestic violence since they have contact with children more than any other service (Lloyd, 2018). Schools can refer children to social care to help with the proper raising of the children. Teachers can establish a change in a student’s behavior that might result from impaired psychological torture from family violence at home. Withdrawal increased anxiety and stress is an example of emotional change that teachers can recognize in children and intervene.

In conclusion, the reference source and the research consulted on family violence, and child abuse engrains different perceptions and new insights about the topic. Child abuse is an overseen topic that should attract more intervention to eliminate its effects. The quality of the information in these reviewed references is impressive and educates a researcher, especially in family violence and how it affects child abuse. Various implications take place during family violence practice. Psychological and emotional trauma to the child is among the various implication of family violence to children.

Additionally, policies around family violence have some effects on the stakeholders affected by the violence. Reduction of violence is experienced when intervention organizations for children’s welfare are involved in the dispute. Future research should focus on how society can develop a lasting solution for violence since it is a common social problem that affects every population globally.


Child Protection Plans. (2021). Retrieved 24 November 2021, from

Stylianou, A., Davis, S., & Washington, A. (2020). One Organization’s Approach to Balancing Survivor Empowerment with Mandated Child Abuse Reporting. Journal Of Family Violence, 35(3), 279-284. doi: 10.1007/s10896-020-00131-x

Dahake, Prasanna & Kale, Yogesh & Dadpe, Mahesh & Kendre, Shrikant & Shep, Snehal & Dhore, Snehal. (2018). Impact of Child Abuse & Neglect on Children: A Review Article.

Bragg, H. (2003). Child protection in families experiencing domestic violence. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

McCloskey, L. A. (2001). The “Medea Complex” among men: The instrumental abuse of children to hurt wives. Violence and Victims, 16, 19–37.

Ogrodnik, L. (2011). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Tyyskä, Vappu & Saran, S.. (2013). Family Violence.

Jouriles, Ernest & McDonald, Renee & Slep, Amy & Heyman, Richard & Garrido, Edward. (2008). Child Abuse in the Context of Domestic Violence: Prevalence, Explanations, and Practice Implications. Violence and victims. 23. 221-35.10.1891/0886-6708.23.2.221.

LUCAS-HERALD, A, BUTLER, S, MACTIER, H, MCDEVITT, H, YOUNG, D, & AHMED, SF (2012).“Prevalence and characteristics of rib fractures in ex-preterm infants”, in: Pediatrics, 130(6), pp.1116-1119

MAJALI, S., & ALSREHAN, H. (2019). The impact of family violence on the social and psychological development of the child. Utopía Y Praxis Latinoamericana.

Lloyd, M. (2018). Domestic Violence and Education: Examining the Impact of Domestic Violence on Young Children, Children, and Young People and the Potential Role of Schools. Frontiers In Psychology, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02094


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