Statistics reveal that domestic violence is a serious, widespread problem across the world. However in India, physical violence is in some sense the endgame in an environment that is structured and dependent on the continued and institutionalized subjugation of women as a social class.

  • According to a report published by the International Center for Research on Women in 2000, 45% of all Indian women experience some form of domestic violence in their lives
  • BBC's statistics (2001) revealed that every six hours a young, married woman is burnt alive, beaten to death or driven to commit suicide somewhere in India
  • The All-Women police stations in Chennai released a joint report in 2005 which stated that there were 10,508 cases of physical, sexual, verbal and mental abuse reported to them by women over the course of three years
Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children. Children witnessing domestic violence live in constant fear and feel as if they are physically abused. They are often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent. Children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home.

"Families under stress produce children under stress. If a spouse is being abused and there are children in the home, the children are affected by the abuse." (Ackerman and Pickering, 1989)

Dynamics of domestic violence are unhealthy for children:

  • Control of family by one dominant member
  • Abuse of a parent
  • Isolation
  • Protecting the "family secret"
Children react to their environment in different ways, and reactions can vary depending on the child's gender and age.

Children exposed to family violence are more likely to develop social, emotional, psychological and or behavioral problems than those who are not. Recent research indicates that children who witness domestic violence show more anxiety, low self esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems than children who do not witness violence in the home. The trauma they experience can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances that effect their development and can continue into adulthood.

Some potential effects:

  • Grief for family and personal losses
  • Shame, guilt, and self blame
  • Confusion about conflicting feelings toward parents
  • Fear of abandonment, or expressing emotions, the unknown or personal injury
  • Anger
  • Depression and feelings of helplessness and powerlessness
  • Embarrassment
  • Acting out or withdrawing
  • Aggressive or passive
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Care taking; acting as a parent substitute
  • Lying to avoid confrontation
  • Rigid defenses
  • Excessive attention seeking
  • Bedwetting and nightmares
  • Out of control behavior
  • Reduced intellectual competency
  • Manipulation, dependency, mood swings
  • Isolation from friends and relatives
  • Stormy relationships
  • Difficulty in trusting, especially adults
  • Poor anger management and problem solving skills
  • Excessive social involvement to avoid home
  • Passivity with peers or bullying
  • Engaged in exploitative relationships as perpetrator or victim
  • Somatic complaints, headaches and stomachaches
  • Nervous, anxious, short attention span
  • Tired and lethargic
  • Frequently ill
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Regression in development
  • High risk play
  • Self abuse
(Source: ACADV)


 Did you Know?
In India, one incident of violence translates into the women losing seven working days. In the United States total loss adds up to 12.6 billion dollars annually and Australia loses 6.3 billion dollars per year
(United Nations Report)
At least 20 per cent married women aged between 15 and 49 years have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives, many on an almost continual basis
(National Family Health Survey)
Around two-third of married women in India were victims of domestic violence and one incident of violence translates into women losing seven working days in the country,
(United Nations Report)

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