Specialisation: Childhood Trauma

Response to Childhood Trauma Associated With Domestic Violence

Introduction

Domestic violence is a widespread issue in the United States of America. Many families in the US experience domestic violence to the point it is assumed to be a normal occurrence. On the contrary, domestic violence is wrong, and it usually has significant impacts on the lives of its victims. People always assume that the victims of domestic violence are the primary recipients of the violence itself. However, it is currently established that even children are hugely affected by the occurrence of violence in homes. In the primary new article “Domestic abuse: Children are the hidden victims,” the author elaborates that children who witness domestic violence are affected more than one could imagine. The article describes children in such dispositions as the hidden victims of violence. Many uncommon facts regarding the nature of domestic violence and its effects on the overall well-being of children are exposed in this article. All possible signs and symptoms associated with the negative impacts of domestic violence are well explained, and testimonials are issued from recovering victims. Undoubtedly, domestic violence exists, and it has far-reaching impacts, weighing down young children as much as it does the primary victims themselves. This paper will evaluate some of the responses employed to deal with the consequences of domestic violence and improve the lives of the victims.

The trauma

Based on the available information online and on various platforms, it is clear that few people are sufficiently enlightened on the nature of domestic violence. As mentioned earlier, few people are aware of its impacts on the lives of the victims of domestic violence. The fact that domestic violence also affects children as they do the primary victims should be preached to many adults. Although the horrors of domestic violence are inevitable amongst the primary victims, the witnesses, usually children, are equally affected. In the primary article “Domestic abuse: Children are the hidden victims,” a young girl, Daisy, tells her narrative of how she experienced domestic violence firsthand, witnessing all the physical abuse her mother received from her father. Everything she professed indicates how bad domestic violence can be, especially for young children.

Daisy’s first testimony states, “Whenever I go back to the area I grew up, I still feel nervous”(Domestic Abuse: Children are the hidden victims, 2018). At the time she was asked, she was 19 years of age, and the memories of the instances of domestic violence are still fresh in her mind. This shows how dark and long-lasting the impacts of domestic violence are on children. In addition, she further validates her claims by sharing her fears whenever she sees someone driving a red car like her father’s. Therefore, childhood trauma caused by domestic violence negatively impacts the mental health of children both in the short and long term.

Additionally, based on the information from the primary article, Daisy is clearly left nursing undesirable mental wounds as a result of her nasty childhood of witnessing domestic violence firsthand. According to her, she frequently suffers from anxiety attacks and experiences nightmares as a result of the traumatizing childhood she had in a home with frequent cases of domestic violence. These experiences are still persistent despite the remedy efforts, including her scheduled visits to a psychiatrist. That demonstrates the complexity involved in fixing a child who is broken because of witnessing scenes of domestic violence. Despite all the efforts to heal, all it takes to trigger these undesirable signs and symptoms is a slight resemblance to what frightens her.

When she was young, she wished that she had the power to call the shots and end the things she did not like. The thoughts of spending some of her life with her father quickly turned her bright moods into terrifying expressions. Daisy claims that the thought of visiting her father stressed her out and that while she stayed there, the experience was dreadful (Domestic abuse: Children are the hidden victims, 2018). Undoubtedly, her childhood experiences associated with domestic violence deprived her of peace, and she still lives with the consequences even in her adulthood. Therefore, domestic violence negatively ruins the peaceful state of children, making them anxious, stressed, and probably depressed.

Main problems/issue identification

Identification of childhood trauma resulting from domestic violence in homes takes a lot of keen observation. One must check out for specific signs and symptoms displayed by suspected victims of domestic violence. Trauma due to domestic violence is usually a result of a series of chain of events. Certain actions and events cause domestic violence in homes, which then has undesirable consequences for victims, including children. For example, as explained by Daisy, her father was a drinker. When his drinking habits worsened, he started displaying intolerable levels of anger and temper (Domestic abuse: ‘Children are the hidden victims’, 2018). When he could not control his temper, he began abusing his wife, and their daughter, having to watch each time her mother was abused, became a victim of domestic violence.

A reputable source, “6 Most Causes of Domestic Violence,” sheds light on some statistical information validating substance abuse as one of the major causes of domestic violence. A study conducted in England found that substance abuse was linked to approximately 44 percent of all reported cases involving domestic violence. Of these cases, alcohol was the cause of domestic violence in 12 percent of these cases (6 Most Causes of Domestic Violence, 2021). The roots of Daisy’s experience and childhood trauma are closely associated with her father’s drinking habit.

Moreover, in the primary article, Daisy also mentions the fact that her father also established a coercive relationship with her sisters. As the eldest sister, she was inclined to protect them. She describes her father as aggressive, and he often gains coercive control of anyone. Daisy and her sisters felt that having someone they could converse with, someone who would hear their expressions and feelings would be quite helpful.

Viewing the dispositions of Daisy and her sisters from a human strength-based perspective, the act of encouraging someone to talk about their childhood trauma with either professionals or individuals they consider confidants is the first step to recovering from trauma (Take action: 10 ways you can help end violence against women, even during a pandemic, 2020). Doing so empowers the victims of domestic violence by enhancing their healing capacity. When asked, traumatized victims of domestic violence would say that talking to someone they can confide in makes them feel safe.

Demographic background

Various factors can also determine whether domestic violence occurs in the home or not. It may not be the sole cause, but based on the demographic analysis, one could say Daisy’s home had a low financial income, depending mostly on the father. Also, Daisy’s household grew up in a society where domestic violence was rampant. The United States is one of the nations with the highest cases of domestic violence. These cases are so rampant that domestic violence is considered normal. According to a study conducted by the women’s charity, 13,400 women and 14350 children escaped homes with domestic violence in a year (Domestic abuse: ‘Children are the hidden victims’, 2018). In England, 160,000 children have reported to live in homes with domestic violence cases. Besides, the main soul provider in Daisy’s house was her father, who had drinking problems. The immediate consequences of trauma acknowledged by Daisy and her sisters include low self-esteem, anxiety, panic attacks, and nightmares. Overall, the mental health of Daisy and her sisters deteriorated significantly.

Strengths of communication as a way of managing trauma

Talking has been quite effective in relieving the tension and anxiety for Daisy and her sisters. Studies have shown that feelings of shame reduce or fade away when victims of trauma. Staying silent about trauma may imply the feeling of being ashamed about the traumatizing experiences. Telling one’s story rather than keeping it a secret relieves one of the burden of dealing with trauma alone. Also, talking helps straighten things out, and one adopts correct ideologies and understanding of trauma. Lastly, talking when traumatized helps one process the memories of trauma. Talking, therefore, makes memories less triggering. Upon revisiting trauma memory, one won’t display upset emotions such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and anger.

Feelings associated with childhood trauma

Daisy and her sisters experience feelings of fear, anxiety, and frustration due to their traumatizing experiences. Whenever Daisy was anxious, she often engaged in inappropriate habits such as compulsive hand washing. However, upon engaging in therapeutic procedures involving talking and sharing about their experiences, she has coped and learned to live with the bad memories. She also professed to have stressful feelings, especially when

In summary, domestic violence in the United States has profound and lasting effects on children, as highlighted by Daisy’s personal account. The article emphasizes the often-overlooked impact on the mental health of young witnesses. Daisy’s experiences, linked to her father’s substance abuse, underscore the complexity of childhood trauma resulting from domestic violence. Communication emerges as a vital tool in managing trauma, helping victims like Daisy and her sisters cope. The article also points to the societal and economic factors contributing to the prevalence of domestic violence. Overall, a multifaceted approach involving awareness, support, and effective communication is essential to address this pervasive issue and protect the well-being of all victims, especially children.

References

6 Most Causes of Domestic Violence. (2021). Justice Class Action Settlement. Retrieved from https://www.justiceclassaction.com/6-most-causes-of-domestic-violence/

Domestic abuse: ‘Children are the hidden victims’. (2018). BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/education-45941824

Gillihan, S. J. (2019). The Healing Power of Telling Your Trauma Story. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/201903/the-healing-power-telling-your-trauma-story

Plumptre, E. (2023). How Witnessing Domestic Violence Affects Children. Very Well Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/the-impact-of-domestic-violence-on-children-5207940

Take action: 10 ways you can help end violence against women, even during a pandemic. (2020). UN Women. Retrieved from https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2020/11/compilation-take-action-to-help-end-violence-against-women