Domácí násilí z pohledu vývoje a ochrany dětí
Domestic violence from the perspective of the development and protection of children
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The article deals with a socially relevant and actual issue of domestic violence with respect to the development and protection of children. First, it describes the concept of domestic violence, particularly intimate partner violence, and brings some numerical data. In spite of the fact that the reported numbers are different, each situation when a child is exposed to the domestic violence is very unfavorable or even traumatic for him. The immediate effects are feelings of fear, anxiety, confusion, anger and helplessness. Younger children often feel guilty for the situation at home. Most experts are convinced that long-term consequences of witnessing domestic violence are very negative for the development of child's personality. The exposure to intimate partner violence is increasingly being recognized as a form of child maltreatment. The World Health Organization expressed this conviction in 2013 when children´s exposure to domestic violence was added to the syndrome of child abuse and neglect as one form of psychic abuse. Further, the consequences of exposure to the domestic violence are summarized developmentally from early childhood to young adulthood. The typical symptom in children growing up in an atmosphere of fear and violence is the reduced self-esteem. Emotional and behavioral disorders are also frequent. It was even proven that children who are passively exposed to domestic violence tend to have equally severe emotional symptoms (e.g. depression) as children who are really physically abused. The intensity and extent of the consequences of children's exposure to domestic violence depend on several factors, such as age and sex of the child, his resilience, rate of brutality and frequency of its occurrence, supportive social network of the family and so on. The fact that reduced parental skills are common in families with domestic violence is pointed out. Empirical evidence shows that the quality of parenting and the ability to meet the needs of the child are decreased. Little research attention has been paid to the relationship between father and child in families where the offender is a man/father. The transgenerational transmission of violence is mentioned, too. Finally, the possibilities of child protection and several practical implications are outlined. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of the child, to protect his/her health, not only physical but also psychological. The child should understand the situation, which can be difficult due to the age and intellectual maturity of the child. The primary prevention of violence since childhood is important, including examples of parents, education for responsibility and tolerance of differences, achievement of adequate self-confidence and skills to solve problems. The issue of domestic violence and child protection must be addressed interdisciplinary.
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