Domestic violence is one of those issues that most people are aware exists but fail to recognize its prevalence. There are likely thousands upon thousands of families in Pennsylvania where domestic violence and emotional abuse are a frequent occurrence. While these situations can obviously leave victims susceptible to serious harm, they can also pose a serious threat to any children who may be in the home.
Children don’t have to be the victim of domestic violence to be affected, either. Merely hearing abuse or even knowing that it exists within the household is enough to cause physical and emotional disturbances. Children who find themselves in these circumstances can regress in their behaviors, sometimes even reverting back to bedwetting, and they can place the blame for such abuse on themselves. They may act out, isolate themselves, and become depressed and/or scared. Their schooling can also be affected, as these children often have trouble focusing during class.
As these children grow older, the effects of exposure to domestic violence can continue to take hold. Women may develop a sense that domestic violence is a common part of a relationship, while men may grow to see violence as an acceptable way to problem-solve within a relationship. This, of course, can perpetuate the cycle of domestic violence.
In other words, when a child is exposed to domestic violence or emotional abuse, even if indirectly, there is a lot at stake. This is why Pennsylvania parents who find themselves in abusive relationships need to figure out what they can do to protect themselves and their children. This often means taking legal action, including seeking the appropriate child custody and visitation orders. Skilled legal professionals who are experienced at handling these types of cases may prove beneficial when dealing with this difficult issue, as they can assist in building cases that seek to protect the best interests of those involved.