Child Abuse and its Impact on Adulthood
- Significant numbers of Australian children are exposed to domestic and family violence.
- Domestic and family violence affects children’s physical and mental wellbeing, development and schooling, and is the leading cause of children’s homelessness in Australia.
- Domestic and family violence often co-occurs with child abuse including child sexual abuse. This co-occurrence needs particular attention in policy and practice.
- Policy responses to children exposed to domestic and family violence are complicated by the intersecting policy jurisdictions of child protection, family law and domestic violence sectors.
- Exposure to domestic and family violence alone does not seem to be a factor in future perpetration. Recent multi-country studies suggest that gender roles, stereotypes and violence-supportive attitudes are important for understanding the correlation.
- Therapeutic responses to children exposed to domestic and family violence should include working with mothers (or the non-offending parent) and children to strengthen attachment and should be trauma-informed.
- Primary prevention of domestic and family violence with children and young people is crucial and there is a promising evidence base for the effectiveness of school-based programs.
- Prevention strategies with children should be universally delivered and work to help children be critical of gender norms and violence-supportive attitudes, and equip them with the skills to form healthy and respectful relationships in adulthood.
Taken from: DVRC (Domestic Violence Resource Centre) website
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