Information courtesy of the Victims Services
at University of Central
In a national survey of over 6,000 American families, 50% of the men
who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children. (1)
Child abuse is 15 times more likely to occur in families where domestic
violence is present. (2)
Men who have witnessed their parents' domestic violence are three times
more likely to abuse their own wives than children of non violent parents, with the sons of the most violent parents being
1000 times more likely to become wife beaters. (3)
Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral
disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members
A comparison of delinquent and nondelinquent youth found that a history
of family violence or abuse is the most significant difference between the two groups. (5)
Over 3 million children are at risk of exposure to parental violence
each year. (6)
1. Straus, M.A.. & Gelles, R.J. (eds.). Physical violence in
American families. New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Publishers.
2. Stacy, W. and Shupe, A. The Family Secret. Boston, MA.
Beacon Press, 1983.
3. Straus, M.A., Gelles, R.J. & Steinmetz S. Behind closed Doors. Doubleday, Anchor. 1980.
Peled, Inat, Jaffe, Peter G. & Edleson, Jeffrey L. (Eds.) Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children
of Battered Women. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications,
5. Miller, G. "Violence By and Against America’s Children," Journal of Juvenile Justice Digest XVII (12) p.6.
6. Carlson, B.E. "Children's Observations of Interparental Violence" in Edwards, A.R. (ed.). Battered Women and
Their Families. New York: Springer. pp. 147-167. 1984.