When Massachusetts children are exposed to domestic violence in the home, they often mimic the behavior they see.
This means the boys often grow up to become abusers, and the girls grow up to marry them.
Domestic violence is a learned behavior, according to experts who work with victims of domestic violence.
Children in these situations become desensitized to the violence, and they often begin to mimic their gender role at a young age. While this is not always the case, it is true the majority of the time.
When children witness domestic violence happening in their home, they experience a wide range of emotions, including fear. These children become afraid for their mother as well as themselves.
This fear can become crippling and leave a child with feelings of helplessness and despair. In addition, these children often feel guilty and perhaps even responsible for the violence.
Any child, even in divorce, will take on some of the responsibility per experts.
To avoid their feelings of helplessness, children will often retreat. They sometimes try to hide when the violence occurs or listen to music so they don’t have to listen to the fighting.
Children who live with domestic violence also have trouble in school. Although school feels like a safe place for these children, they become distracted as they worry about their mother.
Domestic violence is not always physical. Verbal or emotional abuse in a relationship can be just as bad. In fact, victims often say that emotional abuse is worse than physical.
In order to break the cycle of domestic violence, children often need lots of counseling and exposure to positive role models. These children need to learn what a positive relationship looks like.
In some cases, children are able to break the cycle on their own when they become adults. However, most need some type of help. They can get that help through classes and support groups offered at the Rape and Domestic Abuse Programs in their community.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.