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Impact of Domestic Violence Exposure in Early Childhood

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Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence Increases the Likelihood of Children Experiencing. Failure to thrive: Caretaker has failed to respond to an infant s life ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Impact of Domestic Violence Exposure in Early Childhood


1
Impact of Domestic Violence Exposure in Early
Childhood
  • Leah Kinnaird, LMSW
  • Domestic Violence Liaison to DHS
  • Iowa State University

2
Definition of Domestic Violence
3
Definition
  • Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and
    coercive behaviors including physical, sexual,
    and psychological attacks as well as economic
    coercion that adults or adolescents use against
    their intimate partners. (DHS Manual Title 17,
    Chapter B(3).)

4
Power and Control Wheel
5
Intimidation and Fear
ILLEGAL EXTREME VIOLENT
LEGAL SUBTLE VERBAL
TACTICS
6
Impact of DV on Children
  • Research indicates children exposed to domestic
    violence are at an increased risk of being abused
    or neglected, and that a majority of studies
    reveal there are adult and child victims in 30 to
    60 percent of families who experience domestic
    violence - Child Protection in Families
    Experiencing Domestic Violence

7
Prenatal Exposure to Domestic Violence
  • Exposure to domestic violence can begin even
    before a child is born. The physical effects of
    this abuse can start when they are in their
    mother's womb, and can result in
  • Low infant birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fetal death (due to mothers physical trauma and
    emotional stress)(Horner, 2005)

8
Children 0-5
  • Young children bear a disproportionate share of
    violence and abuse in the home. Exposure to
    domestic violence (abuse between adult partners
    in the home) affects many young children. When
    very young children are exposed to violence,
    their expectations for a predictable world are
    shattered and they may lose the basic trust that
    a caregiver will emotionally and physically
    protect them.

9
Children in this age range may respond in a
variety of ways. They may
  • Be irritable or fussy or have difficulty calming
    down
  • Become easily startled
  • Resort to behaviors common to being younger
    (thumb sucking, bed wetting, or fear of the dark)
  • Have frequent tantrums
  • Cling to caregivers
  • Experience changes in level of activity
  • Repeat events over and over in play or
    conversation
  • Become passive and lose interest in playing
  • Become over-compliant

10
How Trauma Affects Behavior
  • Excessive irritability
  • Immature behavior
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Emotional distress
  • Fear of being alone

11
How Trauma Interferes with Development
  • Impedes normal development of trust and
    exploration which leads to development of
    autonomy
  • Regression in previously mastered areas of
    development

12
How Symptoms of Trauma are Displayed
  • Repeated experiencing of traumatic event
  • Avoidance
  • Numbing of affect
  • Increased arousal

13
How Children Respond to Witnessing Violence
  • Fear of being near the scene where violence took
    place
  • Afraid to sleep or having nightmares
  • Limited range of emotion during play

14
Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence
Increases the Likelihood of Children Experiencing
  • Failure to thrive
  • Caretaker has failed to respond to an infants
    life-threatening condition

(Campbell and Lewandowski, 1997 Graham-Bermann
Seng, 2005)
15
Video
16
Batterers as Parents
  • Often use the same tactics to parent as they use
    with partner
  • Deliberately undermine relationships between
    family members especially victim and children
  • Use children as a weapon against victim
  • What factors give children resiliency to cope
    with and heal from abusive situations?

17
Impact of DV on Adult Victim Parenting
  • Keeping the peace
  • Denial, guilt, emotional distance
  • Undermined
  • Children inducted into abuse
  • Respect eroded
  • Higher rates of child abuse, until they gain
    safety
  • Resented for leaving
  • Feel trapped

18
Resiliency
  • DV does not affect all children in the same way.
  • The impact of DV on children varies by
  • The types, frequency, and severity of tactics
    used by the DV perpetrator
  • The age, gender, and development stage of the
    child
  • The presence of other risk and protective
    factors
  • (Edleson, 2001)

19
Variables that impact whether a child will
overcome the effects of witnessing domestic
violence
  • Social Competence
  • Intelligence
  • High self-esteem and outgoing temperament
  • Strong sibling and peer relationships
  • Supportive relationship with an adult

20
Context for Childrens Recovery should include
  • Sense of Safety
  • Structure, limits, predictability
  • Strong bond to their primary caretaker Feel that
    adult victim can protect them
  • Feel respect for adult victim
  • Feel supported in being close to parent
  • Not feel responsible to take care of adults
  • Good boundaries regarding information
  • Feel that parents are healing

21
Treatment for Children
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Emphasis on improving the quality of the
    parent-child relationship and changing
    parent-child interaction patterns. Ages 2-7
    years.
  • Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
  • For children who have experienced at least one
    traumatic event and as a result are experiencing
    behavior, attachment, and/or mental health
    problems. Ages birth through 5.

22
Strategies for Staff
  • Create a safe, nurturing environment
  • Respond to each childs needs
  • Build skills for dealing with challenging
    behavior
  • Be prepared to deal with complex (legal)
    situations
  • Refer children whose problems are clinically
    significant
  • Know how to respond to disclosures from children
  • Consult a supervisor, mental health worker, or
    both, when concerns arise

23
Strategies for Programs
  • Increase the capacity of all staff to address
  • domestic violence
  • Educate all parents (including fathers) about the
    impact on children of exposure to community and
    domestic violence, and how to help kids cope
  • Develop procedures to respond to the special
    needs of children and families experiencing
    domestic violence
  • Become part of a more coordinated response to
    children and families living with domestic
    violence

24
Supporting Families
  • Be respectful
  • Talk to adult victims about their childs
    disclosures
  • Ensure that the adult victim has a safety plan
  • Help parents talk to their children about the
    violence

25
Policy
  1. Increase the resources meant to ensure that all
    young children (from birth through age six) have
    access to high-quality early care and education
    programs.
  2. Target specific resources to ensure that early
    care and education programs have access to
    specialized help so they can respond to special
    needs of young children and families affected by
    DV and other significant stressors.
  3. Include competency-based training on DV and
    related risk factors in pre- and in-service early
    childhood professional development strategies.

26
Policy
  • 4. Provide incentives and resources at the state
    level for community-based cross-training
    initiatives and collaboration.
  • 5. Provide incentives to expand the cadre of
    social workers and psychologists trained to help
    parents, and of direct services workers trained
    to deal with domestic violence and other related
    risk factors.

27
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30
Help for Parents
  • Batterers Education Programming (BEP) Duluth
    model
  • Iowa Domestic Abuse Project (IDAP) Achieving
    Change Through Value Based Behavior (ACTV)
  • 24/7 Dad and other male parenting programs
  • Advocacy Programs through Iowa Coalition Against
    Domestic Violence (icadv.org)
  • Caution Couples counseling, individual
    counseling, anger management

31
Resiliency Factors for Adult Victim
  • Community and social supports
  • Safe housing
  • Absence of other outside stressors
  • Ability and confidence in accessing agencies and
    systems

32
Whats going on in Iowa?
  • The Iowa Department of Human Services is working
    with David Mandel and Associates, LLC to bring
    the Safe and Together Model to Iowas child
    welfare system and its partners.
  • Safe and Together is a child-centered,
    perpetrator focused approach to working with
    families and partnering with victims to keep
    children and non-offending parents together when
    possible.
  • www.endingviolence.com

33
Whats going on in Iowa
  • Support for programs to engage fathers who use
    domestic violence
  • New batterers education program being piloted
    across the state Achieving Change Through
    Value-Based Behavior
  • Collaboration between child welfare entities and
    domestic violence victim advocacy centers

34
Questions?
  • Leah Kinnaird, DV Liaison to DHS, Iowa State
    University
  • lkinnai_at_dhs.state.ia.us
  • 319-329-4201
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