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Learn More About Family Violence

 

While domestic violence and child abuse are often addressed separately, an ever-growing amount of evidence points to all forms of family violence being firmly entwined with one another. Families often suffer from both domestic violence and child abuse or neglect.

A person who abuses their partners also frequently abuses the children in their homes. Children who live in violent homes may also be the victims of violence that is not directed at them- they may be injured while trying to help a parent who is being abused, or if they get in the abuser's way. In other cases, victims of partner violence may deal with their situation by abusing drugs or alcohol, increasing the likelihood that they will mistreat or neglect the children, or they may react overly harshly to their children's behavior. It is clear that only by addressing both domestic violence and child abuse concurrently can we hope to break the cycle of family violence.

Family violence cuts across all economic and education levels, all age groups, ethnicities and other social and community characteristics. Women and children are most often the victims of family violence. Your neighbor, your office mate, even your friend may be in an abusive relationship. Your child's friend or classmate may be the victim of a violent parent.

The effects of family violence on the victims can be devastating, and those effects take their toll on communities as well. Family violence may lead to increases in substance abuse and violence in the neighborhood. It impacts job turnover and productivity, and school performance, and contributes to the high costs of law enforcement, the justice system, health and human services, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

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