Early Childhood Studies – a Global Perspective

Exploring the concepts on early childhood studies through the lens of people across the globe

Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect

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They barely knew each other. She moved in with him until she got pregnant. They were married before the first child was born. Three more followed after the firstborn. All pregnancies were unplanned. They lived with the husband’s parents for many years. They were provided by the parents for all their needs including the education of their children. He was an alcoholic, heavy smoker and occasionally uses the cannabis plant, also known as marijuana. When conflicts arose, the husband resorted to domestic violence when under the influence of alcohol. Childrdesperation-447736_1280en witnessed the upturning and breaking of furniture, wife beating and verbal abuse directed at the wife. Sometimes violent acts were directed to the children. She sought help from friends. They urged her to walk away. She left for a while, but fear enveloped her. She was scared that she would not be able to fend for her children. Upon her return, the husband sought psychiatric help. He was sober for a while until he slid back to his old habits. The violence from the time children were young continued until they reached their teenage years. The wife sought spiritual comfort to overcome challenges and reached out to her friends for comfort. These were her only sources of coping. She believed that she could still “fix” the husband. However, the change in behavior was short-lived.The incidence of violence and abuse still pervade. What can push her to take further action?

Tremblay et.al. (2004) noted that violence is a precursor of health and mental problems such as alcohol abuse, suicide attempts, and depression among many others. In addition, the functioning of the child had negative impacts in a home where they witness and experience domestic violence. As a result of early exposure to adversities, some of their children turned alcoholic and drug users (English, et.al, 2003). Lack of intervention has harmed the development of these children. If their mother does not have the courage to seek help for her children, who will? Her situation does not provide support from the government. Will this be a cycle of domestic violence and child abuse when these children turn to adults and have their children in the future? It is time to seek help for herself so she can be there for her children.

A deeply rooted source of stressor seems hard to overcome. Systems of support are needed to help victims of abuse redirect the distorted path of development. However, in a society and culture where this form of stress is not a priority for close attention, coping and overcoming adversities still remain far-fetched.

References:

Tremblay, R. E., Nagin, D. S., Séguin, J. R., Zoccolillo, M., Zelazo, P. D., Boivin, M., … & Japel, C. (2004). Physical aggression during early childhood: Trajectories and predictors. Pediatrics114(1), e43-e50. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/1/e43.full.pdf+html

English, D. J., Marshall, D. B., & Stewart, A. J. (2003). Effects of family violence on child behavior and health during early childhood. Journal of Family violence,18(1), 43-57. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1021453431252#page-1

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Author: pamcee70

My name is Pam Castillo. I have been in the field of education for 24 years now. Although I have taught some levels in grade school, I have spent most of my years teaching children aged two to six years old. I am always amazed by the interactions I have every day with children. In an environment where children feel safe, they are confident to explore and make discoveries. These experiences prepare them for the bigger challenges in the future. I feel privileged to be a part of the learning journey of these young children especially if they still come to see me and reminisce the years we worked together.

2 thoughts on “Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect

  1. Pamela, what a heart wrenching story. It seems to be one that we hear all too often, in all areas of the world. Did the husband in this situation grow up in a similarly abusive household? I believe this is often the case. I also wonder if the husband turned to alcohol and drugs as a way of escaping his life, because he realized the pain he inflicted on others?

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    • I think he was also neglected as a child. He grew up with his nanny and his parents favored his other siblings. I think the anger is so deeply rooted that he would take on his wife and children. I think his parents are the one who are the non responsive neglectful type. It is indeed very sad.

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