Peace Place Inc. offers a Children and Family Advocacy to help with parenting and child development in shelter and outreach. We also offer support groups for kids in conjunction with the adult support group in Barrow County.
In addition, it’s important to remember that children living in a home where their parent is battered are victims of psychological and emotional trauma, whether or not they are directly abused themselves. Children are aware of the violence against them almost 100% of the time, regardless of their age. Mothers report young infants showing disturbed eating and sleeping patterns, and being more tense and irritable because of the violence that has occurred. The stress of domestic violence can cause children to revert to behaviors such as thumb sucking, nail biting or bed wetting. Children from violent homes are more likely than other children to have stress-related physical ailments such as headaches, ulcers, and rashes. Children from violent homes may have one of two distinct behavior patterns:
Overly aggressive and difficult to control
Unusually passive and withdrawn
They may have trouble concentrating in school and on homework, which can lead to poor academic achievement. In addition, batterers may keep their partners and children isolated from other friends and playmates. This makes it harder for children to learn appropriate interaction skills.
Ending the relationship doesn’t always mean the end of the abuse for the mother or the child. Men who batter often use their children as a weapon against their female partners. Examples of this include:
Threatening to hurt the children if the mother leaves
Telling the children what a terrible mother their partner is
Threatening to take the children and never allowing the mother to see them again
Some of our country’s “missing” children are actually being hidden by their mother from abusive fathers or may have been kidnapped by batterers in an attempt to get the mother to return to the relationship. One of the saddest parts of domestic violence is the long-term effects it can have on children who witness it.
Intervene Now! Before patterns that will a last a lifetime have been established.
If you would like to donate arts & craft supplies or gift cards to Walmart, Target, Michael's or the Dollar Tree for our Children's Program, please contact our Child Advocate, Lisa Reynolds, at 770-307-3633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.