Domestic violence can cause a host of problems with children | Lane & Lane, LLC
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Domestic violence can cause a host of problems with children

Millions of children and adults nationwide, including in New Jersey, are victims of emotional, psychological and physical abuse in their homes every year. Psychological and sociological research show that domestic violence creates mental, emotional and behavioral problems that are evident in adolescents and young adults -- regardless of whether the child was a victim or a witness. Further studies have also confirmed that the brain development of infants can be adversely affected by domestic violence in the home.

It was found that development and emotional problems in children who witness domestic violence were similar to the impact on those children who were the victims of neglect and abuse -- both physical and sexual. Reportedly, abuse may start with criticism, intimidation, belittlement, ridicule and anger, and later develop into physical violence. It is not uncommon for victims and witnesses of domestic violence to experience depression and anxiety, and they may resort to self-medication to relieve painful emotions.

Some adolescents develop a sense of responsibility for abused parents, and they are typically burdened with trying to repair the emotional damage and providing a shoulder to cry on. While trying to protect a parent, the child may suppress his or her own emotional suffering. Children who live in homes where violence is present often end up having divided loyalties and emotional conflicts -- experiencing both resentment and love for both parents.

Sadly, many children who are exposed to domestic violence grow up to do be abusive. To stop the repetition of physical and emotional abuse, New Jersey victims may seek the help of an experienced family law attorney who is skilled in dealing with domestic violence cases. A lawyer can help with the navigation of the legal process -- from filing the complaint, obtaining a temporary restraining order to the trial in the court. Furthermore, support and guidance can be provided with matters such as child custody and financial support.

Source:, "Children and domestic violence", Anita Castle, Accessed on Sept. 24, 2016

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