"Domestic violence is abusive behavior categorized as emotional, psychological, physical or sexual, where one person uses an intimate relationship to control another. It takes the forms of threats, name calling, preventing contact with family or friends, withholding money, actual or threatened physical harm, stalking and sexual assault. It is imperative to note, that all victims has the right to legal relief" (NYSCADV- "What is Domestic Violence"). From this, it could be very well gleamed that domestic violence is a most significant child welfare issue. However, most of the recent researches on domestic violence delve on young children who are exposed to violence within their homes. Volume 12(1) of The Prevention Researcher specifically focuses on domestic violence and adolescents.
Categorized into two groups, first, they may either be living in their own homes, or second, they may be living in institutionalized homes away from their parents such as foster group homes, detention facilities, or in other such institutions. In the first category, children become victims due to adverse economic and socio-cultural realities. With the present economic crisis, children may carry a large burden of being expected to work to stretch household budget for the family to cope with the spiraling prices of commodities. Marginalized children are deprived of basic needs such as education, food and quality home care. Others suffer from generally perpetrated sexual abuses which have resulted in violating their rights and crippling their potentials. In the second group, these children in their institutionalized homes become more vulnerable to abuse, maltreatment and neglect. According to Senator Leichter, the reports on abuse here are low and more often perpetrators of abuse get away scot-free due to lackadaisical manners of investigations as in records are being expunged or that the case miraculously disappears without a trace.
PERCENTAGES OF CHILD ABUSE
Research has shown that about 30% to 60% of cases involving child abuse and neglect involve a history of domestic violence (NYC Mayor's Report). Behavioral, emotional and cognitive functioning disorders among children likewise have been found to be associated with domestic violence (Edleson). The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) reports that federal and local governments have taken great strides in the last forty years to prevent child abuse. CAC also mentions that regardless of the 1974 law passed by Congress requiring adults to report suspected child abuse, the abuse rates have gone up nationally in the U.S. and in New York in particular. CAC further shows below, several forms of child abuse most prominent in NYC :
Neglect 65.9 %
Physical Abuse 9.5 %
Sexual Abuse 2.9 %
Emotional Maltreatment 0.7 %