Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Children who see family violence more likely to harm others

Children who see family violence more likely to harm others
Children who witness violence at home are more likely to seriously harm someone else, carry a weapon or excluded from school, according to a survey by the NSPCC.
The NSPCC said the findings show a clear link between a young child witnessing family violence and serious behaviour problems later in life.

More than 6,000 children, young people and carers were questioned by the children's charity for the survey.
Children who see violent behaviour in the home were four times more likely to carry a weapon, such as a knife, or hurt someone badly compared with children from non-violent homes.
They were also three times more likely to take drugs, steal, spray graffiti or bully others and twice as likley to get into fights.
The same children were also five times more likely to run away from home.
Over half (56%) of children from violent homes show three or more of these types of disruptive behaviour whilst at secondary school, the charity said.
The damaging impact of seeing violent behaviour at home is even seen at primary school. Five to 10 year-olds from violent or abusive homes in the study were two to four times more likely to hit, slap or push other children, pick on others or break, damage or destroy someone else's belongings.
The charity said that just witnessing violence can affect children so severely, it can have a massive impact on their well-being and behaviour.
It also said that schools should be asked to look out for bad behaviour as it could be a potential indicator of abuse at home.
Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the NSPCC said: "This shows that even if a child hasn't been physically harmed themselves, they can still be hugely impacted by what has happened.
"This is something we have always known but these figures give us strong new evidence of a correlation.
"The damaging impact of family violence on children's behaviour and education is immense. These children are acting out their emotional disturbance by causing harm to themselves or others.
"We know from pioneering research that a child's brain is damaged by witnessing or experiencing physical or emotional abuse at a young age. And whilst this is not a determining factor, and does not in any way provide an excuse for poor behaviour, it does go a long way to explaining it.
He also added: "So we welcome the Government's focus on early intervention and also their attempts to tackle 'troubled families'.
"But by the time a child is in their early teens the damage can already be done and behaviour can spiral out of control.
"We must intervene early in families where violence occurs and, crucially, we must provide opportunities for therapy for children who have been harmed by this abuse. The cost of doing this is dwarfed by the costs, both in human and cash terms, of inaction."
The charity called for the introduction of programmes across the country to help children who have suffered family violence and to work with families to help reform their behavior.
Yahoo Lifestyle

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