What are the effects of the exposure of children to violence?

by Mike on September 7, 2017

What are the effects of the exposure of children to violence?

The effects of violence on children can be considerable. Ask anyone involved in the legal system, from a criminal lawyer to a trial judge, and they will probably be able to give you examples of children who have been affected as part of cases they have dealt with. This can be because the child has been subjected to violence, or because they have witnessed violence in the home or neighborhood.

It’s important to note that not every child is adversely affected by exposure to violence. But, for many children, exposure can lead to real problems, such as anxiety, depression or behavioral issues.

The problems that exposure can cause

Every child is exposed to some form of stress in their life. This could be moving to a new environment, or the death of someone who is close to them. This type of stress is natural, and a child can often deal with it by releasing hormones, and activating certain brain circuits. Although, children do often need support as the result of certain events, such as the death of a loved one.

The problem with violence is that the exposure is often prolonged. This means that the child continues to be stressed and anxious on an ongoing basis. This can lead to neurological issues. This is why it’s so important to recognize that a child is being exposed to violence, and take steps to resolve the situation, as soon as possible.

Different types of exposure

If a child is being exposed to violence in the neighborhood around them, there are several possible solutions, including community programs, counselling and relocation. If the child is being supported by a caring and responsible adult then the outlook can be positive.

Worse problems often occur when parental or other adult, support is not available. The child does not have the support behind them to help them deal with the violent situations they are confronted with. This can happen when the child is the subject of abuse, or when there is domestic abuse against either of the child’s parents.

In this sort of situation, there are child welfare systems available. It’s important to note that removing a child from their family is not always the best solution. The family can be offered support and helped to overcome issues. But, if the situation warrants it, a child can be removed from the home and placed with foster parents.

What happens if exposure continues?

Each child reacts to exposure to violence in a different way. They can become introverted, upset or angry. They can also have problems at school or college. Children who have had exposure to violence at a young age can often end up in the juvenile court system. You can see why it’s so important to recognize that exposure is happening and help the child.

Exposure to violence is something that happens to many children, on a regular basis. It’s up to responsible adults to recognize when there is a problem, and provide the best possible solution.



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