Exposure To Domestic Violence

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Over the past decade, increasing research has been conducted on the prevalence of and the outcomes associated with children exposed to domestic violence (Kitzmann, Gaylord, Holt & Kenny, 2003). Children exposed to domestic violence may experience higher rates of externalizing and internalizing behaviors than their peers. The negative consequences of experiencing domestic violence have been observed from infancy to adolescents and in males and females (Evans, Davies & DiLillo, 2008). State laws regarding children’s exposure to domestic violence vary. Several states have no specific statues addressing this population (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, 2012). Interventions found to be successful…show more content…
The legal definition varies by state. There is also no agreed upon definition amongst researchers. State laws typically require the child to witness the domestic violence. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, 2012). The estimate on the number of children exposed to domestic violence varies. According to the United Nations Millennium Project (2006) 339,000 to 2.7 million children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence. Researchers estimate that between 3 and 17.8 million children are exposed to one incident of domestic violence each year (Kitzmann et al., 2003). The variation in reported rates may be due to use of different definitions of domestic violence and what constitutes children’s exposure to domestic…show more content…
As of 2012, 23 states had a statue pertaining to children experienced domestic violence. Twenty seven states, including Colorado, have no specific statues for children who experience domestic violence (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, 2012). As of 2013, Colorado had not addressed circumstances that constitute when children are exposed to domestic violence or the consequences for the perpetrator (Colo. Rev. Stat., 2013). Fourteen states have statutes that define children’s exposure to domestic violence as: “witness [of domestic violence] by a child occurs when the child is physically present or can see or hear the violence” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, 2012). These states do not account for children who may experience the after effects of domestic violence which may include pushed furniture, bruising on parent, etc. The other 13 states with statues pertaining to domestic violence state that the child must witness the domestic violence (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, 2012). Domestic violence committed in the presence of a child typically results in harsher penalties, it is an aggravating circumstance. Four states require the perpetrators of domestic violence to pay for any counseling the child may require (U.S. Department of Health and

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