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Children and Domestic Violence

  • 90% of children in violent homes know the abuse is going on.
    Shelter from the Storm, a Training Curriculum for Clinicians, 2000.
  • Researchers estimate that between 10%-20% of America’s children have been exposed to domestic violence and at least one third of children will be exposed at some point during their childhood.
    Carlson, B.E..  2000.  Trauma, Violence and Abuse, 321-342.
  • In 2010, 268 children stayed in domestic violence shelters in Rhode Island, accounting for 50.5% of the 531 clients staying in the shelters during the year.
    RICADV, 2011.
  • There were 5,691 domestic violence arrests in Rhode Island in 2010.  Children were present for 28% of those incidents, including 1,233 incidents where they saw the abuse and 1,341 incidents where they heard the abuse.
    Rhode Island Supreme Court Domestic Violence Training Unit, 2010.
  • Nationally, in a census of individuals served by domestic violence agencies in a single day, there were 70,648 individuals, 38% of which were children and 20,406 children slept in shelters or transitional housing units.
    Domestic Violence Counts Census.  2010.  National Network to End Domestic Violence, Washington D.C.
  • An estimated 15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year.
    McDonald, Jouriles, and Ramisetty-Mikler.  2006.  Estimating the Number of American Children Living in Partner-Violent Families. Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Between 45% and 70% of children exposed to domestic violence are also victims of physical abuse.
    Trickett & C.J. Shellenbach.  1998.  American Psychological Association, 57-101.
  • A Michigan study found that children who have been exposed to family violence suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and are at a greater risk of having allergies, asthma, stomach problems, headaches and flu.
    Graham-Bermann and Seng.  2005.  Journal of Pediatrics.
  • A study on the effects of childhood stress on lifetime health found that as the frequency of witnessing domestic violence increased, the chance of alcoholism, substance abuse, depression and serious health problems also increased.
    The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan.  2008.  Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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