Men beating women and children: what is the emotional and physical impact on children experiencing and witnessing domestic violence?

Constantinou, Alexia (2008) Men beating women and children: what is the emotional and physical impact on children experiencing and witnessing domestic violence? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Domestic violence is a topic of great concern in our community and has prompted considerable research in recent years since the issue of domestic violence came to public prominence in Britain just in 1992. If not ignored, children were frequently referred to as the "forgotten victims" (Mullender and Morley, 1996: 43). Most of the research has paid more attention on the adults involved and very little on the children. Children are profoundly affected by their experience of living with domestic violence, however. Thus the title of this research is Men beating women and children: what is the emotional and physical impact on children experiencing and witnessing domestic violence? This dissertation intends to establish the ways in which engaging in the behaviour of domestic violence impacts upon children by attempting to analyse the impact of domestic violence in the light of physical and emotional aspects. It then aims to illustrate the area of knowledge about the occurrence of violence with focus on domestic violence, in terms of its definition, nature and extent. Moreover it goes on to examine domestic violence through various theories which are considered to play a determinative role for the phenomenon of domestic violence and then looks at the criminal justice interventions concerning its occurrence. This dissertation intends to achieve its aims by reviewing existing literature from both the UK and USA. The study implements a systematised literature review in order to find the most relevant material by using academic books as well as journals such as British Journal of Criminology, Howard Journal, Violence against Women, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, National Collation of Domestic Violence and other internet publications. The dissertation has identified that domestic violence has serious emotional and physical impact on the lives of children experiencing and witnessing it. Every year thousands of children witness violence in the home and this situation has a damaging effect on their health and development. There are two competing theories as to the source of impact when children live with interparental violence: the direct trauma of the exposure and the nature of the parent- child relationship. Interparental violence transforms the home into a dangerous environment for children and greater attention should be paid to the experiences, perceptions and wishes of the children of abused women. It is crucial that professionals look beyond the closed doors of the family and register the pain and wretchedness of many women and children.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/634

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