Imagine this if you would as a parent or as a child. Late in the evening you are
awakened by your mother returning home from the motel in which your father is staying
as a divorce grows near. You are young and do not know about what or why grown ups
do things. You haven’t the slightest idea of what domestic violence is. Seeing your
mother crying you ask her, “What happened, why are you crying?.” She pulls the sleeve
of her shirt down to reveal her shoulder and upon your eyes you see a black and blue
circle just a bit bigger then a grown mans fist. Now, what do you say to the child? How
does one go about saying what happened? Tell the truth. Explain to the child the reason
for it and that it is something never to be done by that child.
Domestic violence is a cycle in which the development of a child determines if
the cycle continues or not. They are placed into the factors of which keep the cycle going
or ending not only by choice but by subconscious inputs from their surroundings. My
views of this may differ from others, but this is my knowledge and understanding from
first hand experience.
Growing up as a child, I experienced this first hand. It didn’t have as dramatic an
effect as it may have on other children. There are three general ways in which a child
may be affected, but are a wide variety of situations. I can’t predict the future so I cannot
tell which one I will fall into, but I am hoping it is the second way. Firstly, the child may
take on the psychological effect that it is OK to do since one has seen their mother or
father commit the acts. Children may do this cause they grow up as followers of grown
ups around them. Sort of like that monkey see monkey do concept. On the other hand
they could be doing this cause their parents told them not to. Secondly they may never
repeat this act seeing there is no good in it, which could depend on how the parent
discuses it with the child. Maybe not just how the parent discuses it but a child instinct
to be better then their parents may be a driving force. Finally, they may experience it
once as a victim or victimizer and forever feel the guilt and be scared inside of
themselves and if others can tell. Kind of like experimenting with a new vegetable but
more abusively.
Children growing up in a violent household will be forever emotionally scarred.
the violence does not stop with the last punch thrown between spouses, but instead
lingers in a deep emotion in the minds of the true victims, the children. They may be
fixated in the childhood stage where they viewed violence as an innocent bystander and
mentally, if you will, “took notes” on both the effects and how to commit violence
themselves. I am not saying that all kids in this situations will grow up and do this in
their households. But a majority of them will grow up with “lower morals,” like low
goals, using their parents as role models and not wanting to be better then them, in the
sense of being a part of a “broken household.” Throughout their lives during times of
trouble and times of failure they in turn associate this with the “broken household”
experience. A number of kids will in life turn to fit the typical stereotype of “bad kids.”
The other side of the coin would be those kids who take this experience and make their
life better and exceed their parents. The effect of domestic violence is much deeper then
a physical one on the victim. An effect on me that I can see for myself is when I wrestle
around with my dad, I know his weak spot and it is the spot I go for just naturally and
ironically this spot is his shoulder. So as a child, psychologically I was fixated with this
area from viewing what I did.
Domestic violence if taught and handled correctly can be the learning stone to the
next level decreasing the number of incidents, and put a halt in the cycle. But if not
addressed it could be a breeding ground for future offenders, and the cycle will continue
on or start over depending on how you look at it as the beginning or the end.