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What effect does witnessing domestic violence have on children?

Many of those in Charlotte who are suffering through abusive marriages often list a number of different reasons why they choose to remain with their abusers. Among the most common is their desire to keep their families together. The thought that many abused men and women who feel this way share is that they can succeed at keeping the signs of the abuse away from others, especially their children. Yet information shared by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows that those attempting to conceal such abuse from their kids are failing. According to the NCCADV data, every year between 3.3 to 10 million children witness acts of emotional and physical abuse in their families.

For many kids, simply seeing abuse going on in their homes is enough to have a dramatic impact on their lives. Research done by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and shared by the NCCADV reveals that children of all ages who've witnessed domestic violence display such affects as difficulty sleeping, emotional detachment, and a propensity for increased aggression. Pre-teen domestic abuse witnesses also showed a difficulty concentrating and in completing school work. Teens also showed an increased level of scholastic struggles, as well as being at risk of developing depression or struggling with substance abuse. Yet perhaps the most alarming side-effect among teens is their increased likelihood of becoming involved in abusive relationships themselves. 

Parents being victimized by their spouses often feel as though they're only ones suffering from the abuse. Yet the aforementioned statistics show that domestic abuse can take a heavy toll on their children, as well. While not intended to be viewed as legal advice, the information shared here may be helpful to consider when one is contemplating staying with an abusive spouse.

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