The psychology of domestic abuse
“When a child grows up in a home where frustration or crises that come in normal family life are being addressed through violence, they learn that they either become violent or they receive violence,” says Cathy Arney, a clinical social worker and the Vice President of Clinical Services at Pathfinders, a Milwaukee-based shelter and resource center for homeless youth.
“It doesn’t mean that every child who witnesses domestic abuse grows up to be an abuser or grows up to be abused, but the statistics are really high that they will. Especially with young boys.”
There is no doubt that what happens inside the home can have a tremendous effect on children. When that environment is abusive, it sends a message that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems. Outside of the home, Arney says that there are an abundance of societal messages that directly and indirectly reinforce that same idea.
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