Domestic abuse is an issue that is talked about too infrequently in our society. Every day, men, women, and children are subjected to physical, verbal and emotional abuse that can have a tremendous impact. Studies estimate that upwards of four million children are at risk of being exposed to domestic violence each year, which is a staggering number. These children can be affected merely by being aware of domestic violence in the home, but sadly, many of them see and hear instances of domestic violence as well as observe the injuries suffered on account of domestic violence.
Generally speaking, children who grow up in homes where domestic violence occurs become scared and, because they are unable to identify what triggers domestic violence and are unable to prevent it from occurring, they don’t feel safe. They may also exhibit physical and emotional problems as a result of domestic violence.
In addition to anxiousness and fear, a child may exhibit depression, sadness, and anger. He or she may also regress in certain areas, such as reverting back to bedwetting, as well as develop headaches, stomachaches and an inability to adequately concentrate. Some children are even injured when trying to intervene during instances of domestic violence.
Exposure to domestic violence can have long-term effects on children. They may become aggressive, withdrawn, have trouble concentrating and excelling in school and they may exhibit developmental delays. In the worst cases, these children pose a threat to themselves and others through self-harm and aggression.
Although it may be frightening to address, legal steps can be taken to put an end to domestic violence and children’s exposure to it. One way to do so is to seek a divorce with sole custody or, if no marriage exists, seek a modification of child custody. By doing so, a parent may be able to remove a child from a dangerous situation that could have massive ramifications far into the future. To develop a strong case for why child custody should be modified, Californians can turn to experienced family law attorneys who know how to create compelling legal arguments that further the child’s best interest.
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