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A detailed outline is compiled from A. source material. B. works cited. C. note cards. D. the thesis statement.


A detailed outline is compiled from A. source material. B. works cited. C. note cards. D. the thesis statement.


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What does a historian require in order to make a valid historical interpretation about an event? A. Several possible claims to make about the event B. Primary or secondary sources related to the event C. A well-defined thesis related to the event D. An inference about what caused the event to occur


The correct answer is option B. “Primary or secondary sources related to the event”. In order for a historian to make a valid historical interpretation, she or he must search for trustworthy information in the form of primary or secondary sources of the event. Historical events, especially ones that happened many centuries ago, require for strong evidence to support any interpretation of the historian.


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Which of these statements is true? A; The title of the paper should convey the exact focus, meaning, and purpose of the paper. B.The title of the research paper is the thesis statement. C.A reliable Web resource presents opinions as facts and is sponsored by advertisements. D.Thesis statements, once written, cannot be revisited


Which of these statements is true? A; The title of the paper should convey the exact focus, meaning, and purpose of the paper. B.The title of the research paper is the thesis statement. C.A reliable Web resource presents opinions as facts and is sponsored by advertisements. D.Thesis statements, once written, cannot be revisited


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Read this sentence from an argumentative essay that supports restricting high-sugar foods. Consuming too much sugar over time can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Where would be the most appropriate place in the essay for this sentence? thesis counterclaim body paragraph concluding sentence


Hey there!

Correct answer is D. Comma or Period Inside Rule

A. Question mark or exclamation point inside: those are not really necessary.

B. Colon or semicolon: not, a semicolon would divide the whole sentence and it would be shorten; a colon would work but after requested, when there is already a comma.

C. Question mark or Exclamation Point Outside Rule: would not work, becase it is an very polite and affirmative sentence.

D: A comma or period inside rule: actually, just a comma would work. Please, Cooper’s dad requested, go… Cooper’s dad requested must be in between commas as it is a vocative.

Hope this helps


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A thesis statement about Asoka’s rule would connect which phrases? Select all that apply. A.sends Buddhist missionaries B.destroys Nalanda C.governs by moral example D.a golden age dawns


Then correct answers are A) petition must be filed by voters to begin the referendum process. B) Only new laws or recent amendments to existing laws are considered. C) The legislature must accept the referendum before it goes to voters.

The statements that correctly describe the referendum process are the following: petition must be filed by voters to begin the referendum process, only new laws or recent amendments to existing laws are considered, and the legislature must accept the referendum before it goes to voters.

We are talking about the referendum process in the state of Michigan. The two ways citizens cant begin with the process are a “directly initiated constitutional amendment” or an “indirectly initiated state statute.” They have to collect enough signs to send the petition to the legislature of the state. Once there, state Congressmen has forty days to make a decision: to accept the petition or reject it. If it is rejected it is again considered in the next ballot. But in this state, citizens can use their veto power to revocate the decision.


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One way to improve the unity of your essay is to _____. have a topic sentence in every paragraph restate the thesis in each paragraph lengthen the body eliminate unnecessary details


Hey there!

Correct answer is D. Comma or Period Inside Rule

A. Question mark or exclamation point inside: those are not really necessary.

B. Colon or semicolon: not, a semicolon would divide the whole sentence and it would be shorten; a colon would work but after requested, when there is already a comma.

C. Question mark or Exclamation Point Outside Rule: would not work, becase it is an very polite and affirmative sentence.

D: A comma or period inside rule: actually, just a comma would work. Please, Cooper’s dad requested, go… Cooper’s dad requested must be in between commas as it is a vocative.

Hope this helps


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Which is not an appropriate thesis for an essay comparing two texts about poverty in the United States? Garcia’s reliance on personal stories makes her argument less convincing than Engle’s. Engle combines testimony from social workers with economic statistics that date back to the 1920s to craft a more convincing argument than the one Garcia offers. Garcia and Engle are both experienced scholars who write about poverty and race in the United States. Although both Garcia and Engle agree that hunger in the United States has generally declined since the beginning of the twentieth century, Garcia’s use of personal stories makes for a more interesting and more readable article.



Henri Rousseau’s Portrait of a Woman


Magical Realism finds precedent in eighteenth-century Gothic novels, but also connects with sixteenth-century Baroque or Surrealism, almost contemporary in the early twentieth century.

Among the most striking features of this movement, we find the blend of realism with pure unreality that is observed as normal, with the integration of magical elements without seeming extraordinary.

These works do not explain the supernatural elements and are narrated as something natural, with characters unaware of their transcendent dimension. In addition, death has paramount value in the relativistic discourse of truth, with a metaphysical focus on space and time and an intimate atmosphere that blends characters with myths, legends, and natural cultures.

Henri Rousseau’s Portrait of a Woman is considered one of the first magical realistic stories.


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The thesis statement A. is the focus of the literary analysis. B. is the introduction to the literary analysis. C. is the final observation in the literary analysis. D. is the supporting detail of the literary analysis.


Here are a few pointers; hope this is useful)

Ovation-by definition- is show of appreciation from an audience, for a person’s accomplishments or flaw.

“Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world.”

A person’s accomplishment could be how they made a positive change in this world, strong leadership- that makes them a effective leader or simply helping others. A person’s flaw- mistakes in life, sin or even guilt should also be considered an appreciation- an ovation for representing mankind’s flaw and that humanity makes mistakes, fulfilling at least one deadly sin such as greed, lust, selfishness etc.

Thus, regardless of a person’s achievement or flaw- a person deserves an applause for, not the least, living in this society and this world that we are all living together and dying together.

That was just the introduction.. the best part is yet to come.. now it’s your turn!!

Here are other pointers to talk about in your essay:

Shakespeare’s famous line “All the World’s a stage. That agrees with your line: “Everybody deserves a standing ovation…”

Shakespeare explains that men and women are like players: they live, and die, some being celebrated and some forever living in solitude till their death. Shakespeare states the world is a “stage” which symbolizes that mankind is in its peak. The world is changing everyday: little by little and humanity is falling behind.
Due to our world turning into machinery: factories, an automotive future: where humans only job to live (entrance) and to die (exit) the famous humans remembered and the flawed not recalled.

This is according to Shakespeare’s imagery.

I don’t know what grade your in, but I think simplifying Shakespeare’s word of mouth in your essay would be handy and useful as it has strong references of your quote, and agrees strongly in your essay.

Hope this helps 🙂


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2. Two teachers are discussing thesis statements. Teacher A says that a thesis statement should reflect the main idea of the paragraph that it’s in. Teacher B says that the thesis statement should reflect the main idea of the entire essay. Who is correct? A. Neither Teacher A nor Teacher B B. Both Teacher A and Teacher B C. Teacher B D. Teacher A


Here are a few pointers; hope this is useful)

Ovation-by definition- is show of appreciation from an audience, for a person’s accomplishments or flaw.

“Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world.”

A person’s accomplishment could be how they made a positive change in this world, strong leadership- that makes them a effective leader or simply helping others. A person’s flaw- mistakes in life, sin or even guilt should also be considered an appreciation- an ovation for representing mankind’s flaw and that humanity makes mistakes, fulfilling at least one deadly sin such as greed, lust, selfishness etc.

Thus, regardless of a person’s achievement or flaw- a person deserves an applause for, not the least, living in this society and this world that we are all living together and dying together.

That was just the introduction.. the best part is yet to come.. now it’s your turn!!

Here are other pointers to talk about in your essay:

Shakespeare’s famous line “All the World’s a stage. That agrees with your line: “Everybody deserves a standing ovation…”

Shakespeare explains that men and women are like players: they live, and die, some being celebrated and some forever living in solitude till their death. Shakespeare states the world is a “stage” which symbolizes that mankind is in its peak. The world is changing everyday: little by little and humanity is falling behind.
Due to our world turning into machinery: factories, an automotive future: where humans only job to live (entrance) and to die (exit) the famous humans remembered and the flawed not recalled.

This is according to Shakespeare’s imagery.

I don’t know what grade your in, but I think simplifying Shakespeare’s word of mouth in your essay would be handy and useful as it has strong references of your quote, and agrees strongly in your essay.

Hope this helps 🙂


Assignment Help

Prompt: Write an analytical essay in which you analyze and evaluate the British World War II propaganda directed at women. Which statement is the strongest thesis for the writing prompt? In order to show that women were essential to the war effort, the British government created a series of posters and disseminated them during the war. During the war, the British government engaged in a campaign to convince the general public that every man and woman must in some way join the war effort in order to support their country. In order to convince women to join the war effort in some capacity, the government disseminated posters that depicted them as strong, capable, and necessary for Britain’s victory. The government felt that if women worked in factories or hospitals or found another type of wartime employment, Britain would have a better chance at winning the war



Helicases unwind the two parental DNA’s strands and creates the replication fork; single strand binding proteins keep the single strand from joining.

Further information:

• DNA replication: a biological method occurring in all living organisms that is the basis for biological inheritance

Helicase: It is an enzyme that may unwinds the DNA helix ahead of the replication machinery.

Origin of replication: a specific sequence in a genome at which replication is started.

Steps of DNA replication:

• During initiation, proteins fix to the source of replication while helicase unwinds the DNA helix and two replication forks are formed at the source of replication.

• During elongation, a primer sequence is added with complementary RNA nucleotides, which are then substituted by DNA nucleotides.

• During elongation the leading strand is made constantly, while the lagging strand is made in portions called Okazaki fragments.

• During termination, primers are detached and substituted with new DNA nucleotides and the backbone is stuck down by DNA ligase.

Purpose of DNA replication:

The purpose of DNA replication is to produce two duplicate copies of a DNA molecule. This is essential for cell division during development or repair of damaged tissues. DNA replication ensures that each new cell receives its own replica of the DNA.

Answer details:

Subject: Biology

Level: High school


• DNA replication

• Helicase

• Origin of replication

• Steps of DNA replication

Learn more to evaluate:


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The original thesis statement may need to be modified if the available information does not support it. True False


The original thesis statement may need to be modified if the available information does not support it. True False


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What is a thesis statement? the prewriting strategy that most writers use the sentence that gets the audience’s attention the main idea a writer discusses in an essay the list of details used in an essay


Hey there!

Correct answer is D. Comma or Period Inside Rule

A. Question mark or exclamation point inside: those are not really necessary.

B. Colon or semicolon: not, a semicolon would divide the whole sentence and it would be shorten; a colon would work but after requested, when there is already a comma.

C. Question mark or Exclamation Point Outside Rule: would not work, becase it is an very polite and affirmative sentence.

D: A comma or period inside rule: actually, just a comma would work. Please, Cooper’s dad requested, go… Cooper’s dad requested must be in between commas as it is a vocative.

Hope this helps


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Which of these facts BEST supports Congresswoman Chisholm’s thesis statement that there is a need for legislation that supports equal rights for women? A. “When women apply for a job they are asked if they can type.” B. “More than half the population is female but only two percent of them hold managerial positions.” C. “There is an unspoken assumption that women do not have executive ability.” D. “Women have not been aggressive in demanding their rights.”



  Set only in the South.

  Disturbed and twisted characters who are outcasts.


  Southern Gothic literature was a style of writing used by the American South and the stories were set in that region.

  Common themes of that type of literature were about disturbed and deeply flawed characters involved in Hoodoo, grotesque situations and events related to poverty, violence, and crime.

  Some of the most known authors of this style are Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Carson McCullers.

  I hope this answer helps you.


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Which of the following statements about developing an effective, audience-focused thesis statement is false? a. Be sure to use specific, concrete terms that clearly establish the focus of your speech. b. When the audience hears the thesis, it should be clear that the least important goal of your speech is to inform the audience about your topic. c. You should attempt to create a clear, focused thesis statement that stands out and could be repeated by every member of your audience. d. You should always remember that the audience is the reason for presenting a public speech.



Using a quotation  

Giving an anecdote  

Presenting a serious of interesting facts  

Asking a thought-provoking question


All options except providing a conclusion can lead to the reader wanting to continue reading. A conclusion, though, is an end.

An anecdote is good way to make a point while telling an interesting story.

Interesting facts are, obviously, interesting.

A thought-provoking question might make the reader intrigued and wanting to know more about the subject.

A similar thing can be done with a quotation if it comes from somebody important or intriguing.


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Read the thesis statement below and answer the question that follows. Should colleges accept students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds? How can this thesis statement be improved? The college admission process reveals a challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds. As a future employer, would you value test scores over real-life experience? Most colleges should consider test scores when determining whom to accept. Most colleges should consider extracurricular activities when determining whom to accept.


Wuthering Heights, a manor in the Yorkshire moors, is associated with all that is primeval, natural, passionate, and wild. The residents of this manor, the Earnshaws and Heathcliff, exhibit a similar ruggedness and wildness in their behavior. This manor, as Lockwood observes, looks more like the home of a northern farmer than that of a gentleman.

In contrast, Thrushcross Grange symbolizes the sophisticated, civilized world. The manor is opulent, manicured, and well maintained. Similarly, the Lintons represent the refined English gentry, who are conscious of their status and display proper social etiquette and behavior. We get a view of the residents of Thrushcross Grange from what Heathcliff tells Nelly in chapter 6:

The light came from thence; they had not put up the shutters, and the curtains were only half closed. Both of us were able to look in by standing on the basement, and clinging to the ledge, and we saw—ah! it was beautiful—a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers. Old Mr. and Mrs. Linton were not there; Edgar and his sisters had it entirely to themselves.

Nelly’s comment in chapter 6 also conveys the civilized traits of the Lintons:

‘They are good children, no doubt, and don’t deserve the treatment you receive, for your bad conduct.’


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Both Ada and Phil are evaluating their thesis statements, topic sentences, and evidence. If Ada finds that her essay doesn’t have a thesis statement identifying the topic of the essay, she will reread the essay to determine the main point of the essay. If Phil finds that his essay lacks evidence to support his thesis statement, he will do additional research to find substantial evidence. Who is correctly evaluating and revising his or her essay? A. Both Ada and Phil B. Only Phil C. Neither Ada nor Phil D. Only Ada


The correct answer is A. the CPU is like an emperor sitting on a throne, sending orders to every corner of the realm.

The Central Porcessing Unit (CPU) is the one that performs almost all the processing inside our computers. In order to function properly, the CPU relies, among others, on a chipset located on the motherboard, the memory, the secondary storage and its two components: the Control Unit and the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU.) Therefore, all these elements represent the realm that is ruled by the CPU.


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Jose is writing a research paper on the demise of the Aztec civilization. He is working on writing his thesis statement. In which step of the writing process is Jose


Answer: D) Actually do some work.

Explanation: The tone of a text or sentence is the author’s or speaker’s attitude towards the audience, the subject or even the characters of the text. There are many different kinds of tones, like: positive, negative, objective, sad, angry, etc. In the given excerpt we can see that in general it has a formal tone, but to mantain it through the entire text, the phrase “actually do some work” (which is informal) should be revised.


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How many sentences do you need for a thesis statement?

How many sentences do you need for a thesis statement?

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The overall purpose of the body paragraphs in a literary analysis essay is to A. support the thesis of your essay (the thesis you stated in your Introduction Paragraph). B. to give a summary of the text. C. give a list of all the elements or techniques the author uses in the text.



The correct heading for a long essay about various activities to do at the beach is ‘Parasailing, Hang-gliding, Snorkeling, and more!


This is the perfect heading for an essay regarding activities to do at the beach since it names several activities that are typically done there.

‘What to wear this summer’ is not a possible option since this heading is possibly aimed at the summer ‘trends/craze’, that is to say, what people want to wear to fit in with the rest.

Writing a Postcard‘ is not suitable because this is not normally done at the beach, it is rather done at home or the apartment. Plus, it only describes one acitvity, not various.

Finally, ‘Choosing a Sunscreen‘ is not possible either because it also describes one single activity and one that is usually done at a shop or before going to the beach.


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I need to write a thesis statement statement for this essay here’s what it’s about I need to compare and contrast Sumer, Egypt, China and the Indus Valley river please help me with this thesis


Posted in History

Egypt Only
Egypt lasted from 6000 BC to 332 BC. Egypt was invaded by Alexander the Great and then ruled by Greek Kings. Egypt was bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile River flowed through Egypt. Most of Egypt’s economic activity took place in farming. Egypt was a theocracy government and it was dominated by the pharaoh. Egyptian wrote their own language called hieroglyphics. Best architectural achievement was building pyramids.
Mesopotamia Only
10,000 years ago people begin the agricultural revolution in Mesopotamia. Sumer started in 4000-5000 BC. Mesopotamia was located in modern day Iraq. Government was a combination of monarchy and democracy. Crops grown in Mesopotamia were wheat and barley. Controlled flooding in the spring and controlled drought with an irrigation system. The beginning of monuments in Mesopotamia was usually considered the contemporary founding in Sumerians cities.
Indus Only
Indus lasted from 3000 BC to 220 BC. Indus experiences drought and monsoons. Domestication of animals provided food for the people. Trade took place in the civilization. Religion was the basis of Indus government. Harappans created India’s first writing system. Built sewers systems that were covered by limestone slabs. Built walls around most of the settlements to control trade and to protect the settlements from floods.
China Only
Their were 9 different dynasties in Ancient China. Ancient China was protected by the Himalayan Mountains. People settled along the Yangtze and Yellow River. Main crops grown in China were wheat, rice, corn, and soy beans. China had a monarchy government and the government was ruled by the dynasties. China invented gun powder, paper, silk, and the wheel barrow. The great wall was built between 246 and 209 BC. The wall extended 1,500 miles.
China, Indus, Mesopotamia, and Egypt
China had a monarchy government and its main crops grown were wheat, rice, corn, and soy beans. Government in Indus was a basis of religion and trade took place in the civilization. Government in Mesopotamia was a combination of monarchy and democracy and the main crops grown were wheat and barley. Egypt had a theocracy government and its main crop grown was barley.
Egypt and Mesopotamia
Egypt had a theocracy government while Mesopotamia’s government was a combination of monarchy and democracy. In Egypt most of the economic activity took place in farming while Mesopotamia economic activity took place in trade. Egypt lasted from 6000- 332 BC while Mesopotamia lasted from about 8,000- 2000 BC. In Egypt the best architectural achievement was building pyramids while in Mesopotamia the beginning of monuments was usually considered to be contemporary founding in Sumerians cities.

Related Questions

Posted in History

Compare and contrast the ways in which farmers, artisans, and scribes contributed to the civilization of ancient Egypt.

Here is the answer for the given question above.
Farmers, artisans and scribes contributed to the civilization of Ancient Egypt by providing humans the knowledge about science, art, architecture and religion. Artisans are known as craftsmen. They have contributed so much in our architecture today, for they have worked hard for art and furnitures. The farmers were able to contribute through helping our soil fertile which gave more produce. And lastly, the scribes. They were the people who learned how to read and write. The ancient Egyptians made ink by grinding brightly colored minerals into powder, then mixing the powder with liquid so that it was easier to put on. Through them, they helped Ancient Egypt improve communication through writing letters.

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Posted in History

How did the reunification affect the common people of china

1a. What was was the Period of Disunion?–The Period of Disunion was the time of disorder that followed the collapse of the Han.b. How did Chinese culture change during the Period of Disunion?–During the Period of Disunion, nomadic people settled in northern China. some Chinese adopted to the nomad’s culture, while the invaders adopted some Chinese culture. As a result of this this mixing, new types of art and music developed. New foods and clothing styles became popular. As this culture spread, more people became Chinese.2a. Who was Empress Wu? What did she do?–Empress Wu was the only woman to rule China. Her methods were sometimes vicious, but she was intelligent and talented.b. How do you think reunification of china affected the common people?–The reunification of china affected people by creating dynasties; the Sui, Tang, and Song.3a. When was the Age of Buddhism in China?–The Age of Buddhism in China was from about 400 to 845.b. Why did people turn to Buddhism during the Period of Disunion?–People turned to Buddhism during the Period of Disunion because they took comfort in the Buddhist teachings that people can escape suffering and achieve a state of peace.c. How did Buddhism influence Chinese culture?–Buddhism influenced the Chinese culture, including art, literature, and architecture. So important was Buddhism in China that the period from 400 to about 845 can be called the Age of Buddhism.AdvertisementUpgrade to remove ads

Posted in History

What are some characteristics of the second industrial revolution?

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid industrialization in the final third of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The First Industrial Revolution, which ended in the early-mid 1800s, was punctuated by a slowdown in macroinventions before the Second Industrial Revolution in 1870. Hope this helps

Posted in History

What role did the war of 1812 play in manifest destiny and industry?

In the 19th century, Manifest Destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. Historian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example … generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven”.In the 19th century, Manifest Destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. Historian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example, generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new haven Hope that helped 🙂

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Posted in History

Write an essay about the Greek scientist Make sure your essay includes an introduction with a thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion that summarizes your ideas.

      Natural philosophy, being the precursor to modern day science, was greatly developed in ancient Greece. Like other ancient societies and cultures, the Greeks believed that the world around them was the result of divine intervention (The Ionian Philosophers, 3). Therefore, they based early Greek science around their polytheistic religion in an attempt to answer questions about the world they lived in. However, unlike other religions, their religion wasn’t nearly as stringent as others. The Greeks practiced a religion which allowed for free scientific thought. This gave way to the great natural philosophers and scholars. These men, including Thales of Miletus, Aristotle, Democritus, and Pythagoras, among many others, used the scientific method to explain the physical world around them. The use of these sciences was employed in the fields of mathematics, medicine, astronomy and biology in order to improve aspects of Greek life. It also helped to dominate the Mediterranean Sea region, which would be a forerunner to the Roman Empire that borrowed heavily from Greek culture.
             The scientific method was used by Greek philosophers in order to hypothesize and theorize about the natural world around them. However, the first research that was done was incoherent and could not be proved. Many philosophers made up information in order to try and prove their theories, but this did not work since there was no proof. It took many years for the scientific method to be perfected and valid. To this day, the scientific method from ancient Greece has had a major impact on scientific thought. The father of this study was a man named Thales of Miletus (Violatti). He was the first person who tried to explain what he saw in the natural world around him (The Ionian Philosophers, 7). Thales formulated knowledge about the physical world around him rather than relying on the supernatural explanations of the world that the Greek mythical religion supplie

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Posted in History

If someone could check these that’d be great ;o;

1. Which need did the first universities in medieval Europe seek to meet?
D. Training for members of the clergy
2. Which of the following was a medieval Christian scholar who believed that and faith could reinforce each other?
D. Thomas Aquinas

3. Which medieval author wrote an epic tale about Christian pilgrims that reflected many societal roles of the period?
C. Geoffrey Chaucer

4. Which type of architecture best characterizes the work of late medieval Europe?
B. Gothic Cathedrals 

5. How did the bubonic plague spread to medieval Europe
C. Through trade ships

6. Which idea did the late medieval Church label as hersey

B. That the Bible, not the Church, was the source of the truth

7. Which even most contributed to the decline of the Middle Ages?
B. The Hundred Years’ War 

8. How did the Church respond to John Wycliffe’s call for reforms, such as translating the Bible into English?

D. The Church labeled Wycliffe a heretic after his death

9. How did the Hundred Years’ War affect medieval Europe?

B. The longbow and cannon made knights and castles less important

10. Which of the following did the Byzantines most contribute to the Renaissance?
A. A diverse body of knowledge 

11. Which geographic feature(s) supported productive trade for Russian civilization?
D. Volga and Dnieper Rivers

12. Which most directly contributed to the rise of the Russian Orthodox Church?
A. Byzantine Empire 

13. Which leader introduced tsarists absolute rule in Moscow
B. Ivan the Great 

14. Which group brought Mongol rule to Russia and Eastern Europe
B. Golden Horde 
15. South Slavs, Servs, Croats, and Slovenes all helped settle which region?
C. The Balkans

Posted in History

1. Which of the following was a significant innovation of Lowell Mills that increased productivity? A) combining spinning and weaving in the same factory B) separating spinning and weaving to different factories C) employing mainly former African-American slaves for lower wages D) relying on the expertise of German immigrants 2. Which is an accurate description of a change that the Industrial Revolution brought to family life? A) Women continued in domestic roles. B) More women worked outside the home. C) Work outside the home required more education for women. D) Children were no longer expected to help out on family farms. “””“The grave [in the South] was dug through solid marble, but the marble headstone came from Vermont. It was in a pine wilderness but the pine coffin came from Cincinnati. An iron mountain overshadowed it but the coffin nails and the screws and the shovel came from Pittsburgh. . . . A hickory grove grew nearby, but the pick and shovel handles came from New York. . . . That country, so rich in underdeveloped resources, furnished nothing for the funeral except the corpse and the hole in the ground.” – Henry Grady, Speech to the Bay Street Club, Boston, 1889″”” 3. What is the main idea of this excerpt? A) By not purchasing products from its own manufacturers, the South helped enrich the North. B) Even though the South had resources it could tap, it relied heavily on the North. C) All the materials for a Southern burial could only be gotten from the North. D) Because agriculture was so profitable, the South chose not to make use of its other natural resources. I think 1 is A, and 2 is a, and 3 is a.

1. A) combining spinning and weaving in the same factory
2. C) Work outside the home required more education for women.
A) By not purchasing products from its own manufacturers, the South helped enrich the North.

Thank you for posting your question here at brainly. I hope the answer will help you. Feel free to ask more questions here.

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Identifying your audience will help you determine A. in what order to present your ideas. B. where to place your thesis statement. C. appropriate examples to use. D. whether to support your claims.


Read this analysis of the Odyssey, Book XIII in order to better understand how to solve this problem.

Once Ulysses is done telling the Phaeacian court about what happened at sea, King Alcinous orders some of his men with the hero to ensure Ulysses’s safe return to Ithaca. While on the ship ride, Ulysses falls asleep. Once the boat reaches Ithaca, the men of King Alcinous do not wake him. Instead, they let him stay asleep, but they move his body from the boat onto shore and they return to their own journey. Minerva, a goddess, then places a ‘grey mist’ over Ulysses to protect him while he’s asleep. When Ulysses does finally wake up, he has some trouble remembering his land. Somehow, Ulysses deep sleep erased his memory of home. Basically this deep sleep allowed Ulysses to the last of his twenty years.

The fact that the Phaeacians followed Joves instructions and brought Ulysses back home anger Neptune. When the Phaeacians discover the fury of Neptune, they then try to satisfy him by making a sacrifice. Although the sacrifices they end up making don’t please Neptune. Neptune ends up sinking the Phaeacians ship by turning it into stone. Even though Jove sees an opportunity to stop Neptune, he does not. His simply also Neptune to destroy their ship.

Minerva ends up disguising herself as a shepherd when she talks to Ulysses. She does so to protect her identity and to test Ulysses. Ulysses passed Minerva’s test by not telling disguised Minerva who he really is. Pleased with this, Minerva then reveals her true identity to him. After that Minerva tells Ulysses about the suitors that are at his palace that are trying to marry his wife and take over Ithaca. Once she has went over the plan, they then plot revenge against them. Once there plan is ready Minerva disguises Ulysses as a beggar to go undercover and see which men are truly loyal.

There is a bit more, but I’ll end it there since that’s about how much information we’ll need.

Now, put the tiles in order according to the analysis.

• Ulysses finishes recounting his adventures of his journey home to the Phaeacians.

• King Alcinous makes arrangements for Ulysses’s safe journey home to Ithaca.

• Ulysses falls asleep after boarding the Phaeacian ship.

• Neptune turns the Phaeacians’ ship into stone.

• Minerva meets Ulysses in the guise of a young shepherd.

• Minerva and Ulysses plot revenge against Penelope’s suitors.

• Minerva disguises Ulysses as an old beggar.

– Marlon Nunez


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Effects of Domestic Violence on Children Thesis Research Paper Example


Violence has become a characteristic of the culture and society of America. The United States ‘ global picture is constructed on countless tales of mindless violence. It includes, among others, reports of tourists murdered randomly in Florida, a young mother killing her two young children, a society whose popular heroes are aggression incarnate in portrayals played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, and a society whose children have facile access to fire arms. The U.S. societal violence has also surrounded family life. Violence slips quietly and firmly through TV and its contents into the living spaces. This source misleads viewers by embracing unrealistic and filmic use of violence in real-life circumstances in homes and outside. Viewers invariably have the entire family and perhaps none of the family members escape this all pervasive and negative influence. Children are increasingly experiencing real-life violence with impressive and tender psyches, either in their homes, streets, schools, workplaces, and almost everywhere. This violence has not only taken on epidemic proportions, but is also a sad and painful reflection on our culture when kids are the recipients of violence, especially in the home setting. An environment which is otherwise supposed to protect and nurture young ones instead works to leave deep scars of hostile violence. To top it all provocations may be extremely trivial. This state of affair is a public health crisis as well as a moral / philosophical one.

The United States (US) has the highest homicide rate in the world. The US homicide rate for young men is 73 times greater than that observed in comparable industrialized nations. Largely uncontrolled proliferation of guns and other lethal weapons is linked directly, for one, to the increased homicide rates among children and for two, to the numbers of violent incidents that children may witness. On an average each day in the US, 9 children are murdered, guns wound 30 children, and 307 children are arrested for violent crimes.

As the impact of violence on young children is the focus of this study, it is important to consider the culture in which children and their families are embedded. The social history of the US has always given more emphasis to traditions of individual rights and individualism over any perceived or real collective good. This philosophical stance underlies the tolerance of violence against women and the practices of corporal punishment in families. Historically, the emphasis on individual rights dictated that a man had unfettered rights on affairs of his household and that issues in family discipline were not the business of government or the courts. Prior to the late 1800s, children had few rights distinct from their families of birth. In fact it is an irony of societal logic that agencies were established to protect the rights of animals before agencies were established to protect the rights of children. It was not until the 1960s that state agencies were set up with specific legal mandates to protect children from familial abuse and neglect. This historical tradition of the supremacy of individual rights also contributed to the inability of the US to regulate gun ownership and possession. It is within this culture that families raise children.

The term violence encompasses a broad spectrum of behaviors and events, some of which are beyond the scope of this chapter. This chapter focuses on family and community violence. It also includes a perspective on violence in the media. Family violence must, by definition, include child maltreatment and spousal abuse. Community violence involves attacks, shootings and violence related to drugs and gangs. Author has specific interest in the impact on children when they are mere witnesses to domestic violence. Physical scars of violence as recipients are separate from the psychological scars impressed by an act of violence being witnessed. The latter are deeply rooted and long undetected and find expression elsewhere in reactionary and adjusted violent behaviour. This is particularly true of children who have delicate and impressionable psyches and develop childhood memory bank of violence and use it for seeking solutions to adult situations when they grow up. Such children are the special focus of this chapter.

Media violence is the most ubiquitous source of violence coming across majority of children. Approximately 99% of U.S. households have at least one television; 66% have more than one television. An average child views about 12,000 acts of violence on television each year.

In the United States, an estimated 1.6 million children are seriously injured or impaired each year as a result of abuse or neglect; 1,100 children die as a result of child abuse each year. One third of all child abuse victims are younger than 1 year of age. An additional 3.3 million children witness domestic violence indulged in by adults in the confine of homes. Nearly one half of the men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children. It transpires that domestic violence is an equal opportunity phenomenon and occurs in rural and urban areas quite regardless or either the class or ethnicity.

A study of elementary school children in New Orleans, Louisiana, revealed that more than 90% of the children had witnessed violence; more than 50% had been the victims of some form of violence; and 40% had seen a dead body. In Los Angeles, California, it is estimated that children witness 10%-20% of all homicides. Interviews with parents of children ages 6 years and younger at Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, revealed that 1 in 10 children had witnessed a stabbing or shooting by 6 years of age (Taylor, Zuckerman, Harik, & Groves, 1994).

  • Myths about Children’s Exposure to Violence

Several myths about violence in the lives of children and families bear careful consideration. The first myth is that young children, because of their age and developmental stage are more inure than older children, when exposed to violence. Clinical experience suggests otherwise and reveals that young children, who witness violent events, are deeply affected by such witnessing; particularly when either the perpetrator or the victim of violence happens to be a family member. Young children also demonstrate a remarkable capacity for maintaining memory of traumatic events. Often young children volunteer vivid accounts of domestic violence whereas the parents’ belabor under the impression that their children either did not witness the act of violence or are quite unaware of it. It seems children keep substantial family secrets without even the knowledge of adult family. It is not uncommon for a parent to report that his or her child did not see or hear a violent episode in the home.

Separate interviews with the child reveal the opposite: The child gives vivid details about the violent incident. Denial and minimization also occur with professionals who work with young children. At some level, such denial is understandable. Adults wish that children did not see violence; it is a reminder to them of their failure to provide adequate protection for children. Adults also hope that if the violence is not talked about, the children’s memories of the violence will disappear.

A second myth is that violence is solely an urban problem. Violence has touched the lives of families and children across the United States in rural areas, in suburbs, and in inner cities. Domestic violence can occur anywhere. Child abuse and community violence occur with more frequency in areas where there are high concentrations of people with inadequate housing and income and high rates of drug abuse. This correlation exhibits the need to address the issues of poverty and inequity in the United States as one strategy for reducing violence.

A third myth is that violence is a racial problem that exists primarily in ethnic communities. Research suggests that violence is more a function of poverty than race. When people at the same income level are compared, few differences among races are found. This finding suggests that the context of poverty and financial deprivation, and not race, is the main risk factor for violence.

In order to obtain fair and judicious treatment of domestic violence with in the custody courtrooms; it is required that the courts overcome the strongly held myth that a veil of privacy should shield intimate family matters, particularly those which relate to the physical details of the parents’ relationship. Courts must be forthright about such issues for the cause of dispensing appropriate justice. It also requires judges to reconsider myths they may have about victims of domestic violence.

The tradition of family privacy, of a separate and private sphere for family life, is deeply embedded in the law. As Lisa Lerman has pointed out, “(t) he use of mediation to remedy family violence is one contemporary expression of a traditional policy that the state should not intervene in husband-wife conflicts, because the family is `a private ordering system with a capacity for solving its own disputes.’” Although many states have enacted laws to help battered woman, “a great deal of behavior that would be criminal or tortuous between strangers may still be done with impunity within a family.” (Cahn, 1994)

In combination with this traditional reluctance to intervene in the family sphere, is an inexplicable focus in custody decision-making only on parental behavior that affects the child. This focus, together with no-fault divorce (which excludes evidence of fault), provides an obfuscating justification for judges to squarely reject evidence of domestic violence as irrelevant. By examining only factors that affect the child, courts can continue to ignore the pervasiveness of domestic violence and refuse to peer behind the marital curtain into the domestic violence morass.

Judicial reluctance to intervene in the family is also encouraged by a general misunderstanding of domestic violence and battered woman. Primarily, because judges may not understand the battered woman’s behavior, it is easy to dismiss the deleterious impact of battering. There is a general belief that if the woman was seriously abused she would leave the family sphere.  If she stays, then it is presumed that the abuse did not occur. Under these conditions, even if the female can provide reliable proof that she has been battered, a tribunal can nevertheless reject the seriousness of the accusations, blame the victim for enabling the abuse to proceed, or even think that she has consented.

Finally, as with child sexual abuse, courts may think that females make accusations of abuse in order either to obtain an benefit in legal proceedings or to retain some kind of vindictive intent. A major part of the problem is that people can not sympathize with the fact that victimized females may tend to deny the truth because it is simply too terrible or embarrassing to acknowledge it.

Those who believe that battered women lie about the violence against them fail to understand the impact of domestic violence on the lives of mothers and children, and instead rely on their own stereotypes and beliefs about battered women and their families. Based on their misconceptions about what kinds of females are being battered or the presence of battering and its impacts on kids, judges continue to create decisions that may not be in the best interests of the child ; even if they give custody to a battered woman, they may not properly safeguard her with regulations on visitation. Battered women and their children need a legal system that accepts their terrifying reality, and that, if it awards the victim custody, also finds it is in the children’s best interest to prevent additional battering against their mothers. This is difficult. Judges must consciously uncover the fact that the battering exists, must accept that this battering adversely affects the child, and only then they should craft decisions reflecting this reality.


The last two decades have been associated with ever more frequent reports in the scholarly and press literature regarding instances of family violence. Initially, children of battered women were recognized as affected by violence only when they too, generally inadvertently, became injured during a violent episode. Researchers now suspect that children who witness physical abuse of their mothers may substantially outnumber survivors of child abuse. Carlson (1984) estimates that at least 3.3 million children in the United States between the ages of 3 and 17 are at risk of exposure to violence between their parents. Others suggest that 40 to 60% of abused children witnessed abuse of their mothers by their male partners on one or more occasions.

Exactly how much children see or hear of the battering of their mothers is unknown. In 41 percent of the national disturbances in which police intervened, Davidson (1978) revealed that kids were present. Hilton (1992) observed that 70% of parents in her research felt that their kids were witnessing the violence or that it was after impacts. Clinical experience with battered women and their children suggests that the figure is closer to 100%. The extent of the scope and effect of family violence on the children of battered women is only now being comprehended for its adverse impacts.

The understanding in respect of children of battered women and their responses to domestic violence is fast developing. Children’s responses vary. Although some children manifest signs of distress, anxiety, and worry, others are able to overcome the deleterious effects of family violence with the help of inner resources and the support of caring people and support organizations. Knowledge of these factors offers helpful suggestions in carrying out nursing practice with battered women and their children. Those who care for battered women and their children must seek them out, listen, and offer information, encouragement, and understanding. In short counseling empathy should be of very robust standards.

“We overheard a tremendous argument, lot of yelling and screaming and at one point we got scared for my mother because it sounded like she was being hit or something, and we both ran out of the camper and went to the house in time to see her fall into the bathroom, into the bathtub and she had just blood coming all down her face and her eye was cut and she was just crying and wailing and my step dad was standing over her like he was going to hit her again ” Daughter of battered woman (Humphreys, 1991).

The precise impact on children observing the abuse of their mothers is unclear. Research has described even young children’s sensitivities to conflict and distress in their homes. In addition, interviews with children often reveal that children were much more aware of the violence in their homes than their parents believed. Multiple studies have stated that children who come from violent homes are also likely to experience violence in future relationships. Most batterers have witnessed abusive behavior in their families of origin, and the rate of wife- beating is considerably higher in case of ‘sons of batterers’ than for ‘sons of peaceful fathers’.

However, not all sons growing up in violent homes become batterers when they grow up, and in fact many siblings of batterers may live peacefully in non-violent marriages. Although specific numbers are not reported in the literature, Stark and Flitcraft (1988) maintain that to conclude that violence in childhood definitively produces violence in adult lives too is erroneous. After reexamining the data from a national probability sample of 2,143 currently married or cohabiting persons, they concluded that although boys who experienced family violence as children were disproportionately violent as adults, 90% of all adults who were brought up in violent homes as children and 80% from homes described as “most violent” did not abuse their wives.

Traumatic consequences have been reported for children who are either abused themselves or have observed their mothers being abused. This is especially true in case of young children. Stark and Flitcraft (1988), in a feminist analysis of mothers of child abuse victims, concluded that battering is the most common and perhaps leading context for child abuse, and that the battering man is also the typical child abuser.

Initial reports about children of battered women tended to focus upon their presumed problems. The source of these difficulties was either explicitly or implicitly identified as the violence in their homes. Some authors compared children’s responses to abuse of their mothers with those of children who have been exposed to other types of trauma. Emery (1982) concluded that children from homes characterized by interparental conflict are at greater risk than are children from either the broken or even the intact homes that are relatively harmonious. He also suggested that both the type and amount of interparental conflict to which children are exposed are important determinants of the effect of conflict on the children. In particular, conflict that is embedded with open hostility (e.g., quarrelsome versus apathetic) and lasts for a long period of time exposes children to greater risk.

Other research suggested that children of battered women demonstrated a wide variety of behavioral difficulties such as

  • truancy
  • bullying
  • disturbed sleeping patterns
  • excessive screaming
  • clinging behaviors
  • failure to thrive
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • headaches
  • bedwetting
  • speech disorders and
  • cognitive difficulties including decreased verbal and quantitative abilities.

However, such and other studies have limitations in that they interviewed only the mothers and did not evaluate the children first hand, an approach that has been identified as problematic. Furthermore, the majority of studies did not include a comparison group or consider the role of family instability, socioeconomic status, child’s stage of development, or other influencing factors in their methodology. Of late, the number of studies concerning the children of battered women has increased. These studies now directly address children’s responses to battering from broader perspectives that include more comprehensive methods and consider the various contexts in which violence occurred.

A trend was observed in the 1980s wherein several research studies used the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983) to compare the children of battered women with matched control groups. Exposure to marital violence was associated with a variety of behavior problems, although the findings were not consistent. Across such studies, significant group effects differ by subscale and also by gender of child. However, other studies found no such effects. Wolfe and Korsch (1994) noted, “children of battered women, as a group, do not show any particular form of behavioral disturbance or emotional problem that is unique only to them” (p. 595). They did, however, note several general patterns of children’s responses to battering of their mothers.

Infants and toddlers typically respond adversely to violence in general. Particular symptoms of the disruptions caused by witnessing domestic violence include poor weight gain, poor sleeping habits, irritability, and other evidence of general distress. Preschool children may manifest anxiety and phobiatic behavior. Gender differences may be significant with boys demonstrating more aggressive and disruptive behaviors than girls.

The Child Behavior Checklist generally measures School aged children’s responses to violence (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983). School aged children have been reported to manifest anxiety, distress, and problems in school; with boys displaying such symptoms with added aggression. Much less is known about adolescents’ responses to the battering of their mothers. However, data suggest that especially for male adolescents, aggression directed at self and others continues to be a problem.

These findings are disturbing especially given the pervasiveness of woman abuse and the historic lack of attention given to affected children. Some investigators are now exploring the possibility that children who observe violence against their mothers react in a pattern similar to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD in children include: re-experiencing of the trauma, emotional blunting or overall numbing of responsiveness and persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g., hypervigilance, sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, irritability etc), all lasting at least one month. Although PTSD may provide a useful explanation for some children’s delayed responses to violence, this author is concerned that such labels may promote restricted pathology-oriented views rather than holistic perspectives that aim to build upon strengths and invigorated wellness.

There are, however, reasons to be hopeful for the children of battered women. Although multiple investigators using various methods have noted the problems of many children of battered women, they also report that 50% to 70% of these children do not demonstrate evidence of problems which might be clinically significant. This suggests that for the majority of children in violent homes other mitigating factors or circumstances may mediate or moderate the potentially damaging effects of growing up in a violent home.

Garmezy (1983) examined the role of resilience and other factors in children’s responses to stressful life events. He defines resilience as “attributes of persons, environments situations, and events that appear to temper predictions of psychopathology based upon an individual’s at-risk status”. His review of the literature consistently identifies a constellation of the following three factors that seem to mediate the effects of even chronic stress upon children:

  • dispositional attributes in the child
  • family milieu and
  • supportive environment

Although Garmezy does not speak specifically of children of battered women, his conclusions may be applied to them as well.

Dispositional attributes refer to a child’s temperament (e.g., flexibility of response, a positive mood, positive sense of self, active profile), personality (e.g., cooperative, non-aggressive), and cognitive style (e.g., reflectiveness, not impulsive). Family milieu refers to family warmth (e.g. protective, praising, close knit etc), support (e.g. assistance with problems and school), and organization (e.g., orderliness of roles and home, rules setting). It was important to note, ” an intact family was not an identifiable consistent correlate” (p. 75). According to Garmezy (1983), there was a striking lack of any consistent evidence in the studies reviewed that father-absence had an adverse effect on children. It was, on the contrary, mothers’ styles of coping with and compensating for absent fathers which had a powerful and decisively positive effect on children.

Several studies have concluded that a particularly warm relationship with one parent, adult, or even a caring friend can mitigate, if not eliminate entirely, the effects of marital turmoil on children. Finally, supportive environment refers to external support (e.g., from peers, significant adults, school system etc) and a sense of identification with the community. “Significant adults provided for the children a representation of their efficacy and ability to exert control in the midst of upheaval” (Garmezy, p. 76). According to Garmezy, in multiple studies using different methods with various groups these factors have been shown to mediate the detrimental effects of stressful life even upon children. Kaufman and Zigler (1987) concluded that a history of abuse does not automatically imply that a child will grow up to be an abusive adult. Instead of this one factor, there are multiple determinants of future abuse (e.g., history of abuse, poverty, stress, lack of support etc). When there is a history of abuse, the presence of significant positive relationships with one or more persons (support) can substantially mediate the detrimental effects of family violence. Knowledge of these factors present valuable insights for nursing practice with battered women and their children.

Whatever might be the effects on children, growing up in a violent home involves higher probability of being hit or seeing one’s mother beaten. Bennett (1991) in a phenomenological study, of five adolescent girls’ experiences as witnesses of marital violence, noted a general decrease in their quality of life. “From the perspective of participants in this study, the impact of experienced violence cannot be understood in terms of exposure to recurrent episodes of violence interspersed with periods of family peace. It was the day-to-day life in between the violent episodes that accounted for their experience as much as the violence itself” (p. 436-437). The adolescent girls generally narrated an absence of a sense of family, social isolation, awareness of their mothers’ unhappiness, the witnessed violence, and in some cases even their own and direct abuse. Generally these were all interacting dimensions of their overall experience.

Humphreys (1996) conducted life histories over two sessions with 10 adult daughters of battered women; daughters who had overcame their childhood exposures to violence and achieved personal and professional successes. Informants ranged in age from 20 to 40 years, with three women in their early 20s, two women in their late 20s, and five women in their late 30s to early 40s. One woman characterized herself as an African-American, one as an Asian-American, and the other eight described themselves as White. The majority of the informants came from working and middle class families, though two of the women clearly lived in conditions of poverty. All were born into heterosexual coupled marriage families and grew up in homes where their mothers were battered. Four of the informants were abused themselves, and two of those also had one or more siblings who were abused.

Humphreys’ informants reported a life filled with tension, unhappiness, and fear. Even if the informants themselves were not abused, seeing their mothers and possibly their siblings beaten was frightening enough and frequent. But, even when violence was not present, it’s after effects were frequently present. “I knew that whenever he came home all the good feelings were gone. Before he came home things were fine, people were talking and happy and laughing and things were working well…As soon as he walked in it’s like a giant cloud came over everything and it was changed, everything was over.” (Humphreys 1996)

Growing up in a violent home has a devastating effect on children. Children in homes where domestic violence happens are physically abused or neglected at a rate significantly higher than the national average for children from all homes. Such children are at higher risk for alcohol and drug abuse and juvenile delinquency than children from non-violent homes. Juvenile delinquents turn out to be four times as likely as non-delinquents from homes where the father battered the mother.

These children often suffer emotional effects, including constant anxiety, fear of abandonment and guilt for not being able to stop the abuse or for continuing to have affection for the abuser. Without professional help, these problems continue well into adulthood. Children also learn abusive ways from their growing up days in violent homes. Boys who witness domestic violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than boys who were brought up in non-violent homes. Therefore, domestic violence of today is a precursor of future domestic violence. Children raised in violent homes are 74% more likely to commit assaults in future.

Far too many children in the United States may be direct victims of violence or helpless bystanders to domestic violence. In either case, there is a lasting psychological damage. The mechanisms by which children react to violence are perhaps best understood by considering how children respond to emotional trauma and by examining the psychological processes children use to adapt to the trauma.

Childhood trauma is defined as “the mental result of one blow or a series of blows, rendering the young person temporarily helpless and breaking past ordinary coping and defensive operations” (Terr, 1991, p. 11). For children, trauma may include witnessing or being victims of natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes etc), human disasters (e.g., automobile accidents, fires etc), or physical abuse or assaults. Traumas impact irrespective of the age of the affected person; both adults and children respond to traumatic situations in certain predictable ways.

Historically, research on the effects of trauma has been confined to studies of soldiers involved in wars. For centuries, there have been references to a set of symptoms associated most frequently with combat veterans. Terms such as shell shock, combat neurosis, and battle fatigue are all referred to in a mental state observed in soldiers after wars. After the Vietnam War, however, researchers initiated a more systematic look at the effects of trauma on returning soldiers. The work of van der Kolk (1984) greatly expanded the understanding of how external events of overwhelming terror or threat can produce enduring internal emotional changes in individuals. He found that the trauma of war evoked a constellation of symptoms and reactions that were remarkably consistent and similar in each soldier. This constellation of symptoms is known as PTSD.

There was, however, disagreement among child researchers about the extent to which children could experience effects akin to those found in PTSD. Significantly it was thought that children’s reactions to trauma were more transient than were adults’ reactions, and, therefore, the diagnosis of PTSD was not so appropriate for children.

In the early 1980s, Pynoos (Pynoos et al., 1987) and Terr (1983) undertook separate studies of children who experienced trauma. Pynoos studied the effects on children of a fatal shooting in a schoolyard; Terr (1983) studied a group of children who were kidnapped in California (the Chowchilla kidnapping). Both researchers wanted to understand more about how a single, unforeseen, out-of-the-ordinary, terrifying event would affect children. They wanted to learn how children’s responses to disaster might differ from adults’ responses. They were interested in seeing whether factors such as age, gender, social class, or ethnicity affected children’s responses.

They also examined whether proximity to violence or previous exposure to violence affected the response. Both researchers found an enduring pattern of response in children that was very similar to the set of symptoms associated with PTSD in adults. This research laid to rest the controversy over whether children could, in fact, experience PTSD. In the 1990s, PTSD has become an acceptable diagnosis for children and is frequently used to classify children who experience violence or abuse.

Symptoms of PTSD may vary in intensity, depending on the specifics of the exposure to the trauma, including a child’s proximity to the event, the victim’s relationship to the child, and the presence of a parent or care-giver to mediate the intensity of the event. PTSD symptoms that may emerge in children include:

  • diminished ability to concentrate in school because of intrusive thoughts and images
  • persistent sleeping disturbances
  • disordered attachment behaviors with significant care-givers and
  • nihilistic, fatalistic orientation to the future, which encourages increased risk-taking behavior

Witnessing violence adversely affects children’s development in many areas, including the ability to function in school, emotional stability, and the ability to establish peer relationships. Clinical experience with these children suggests that they later engage in aggressive behavior and/or indulge in abuse as adolescents and adults.

The major research projects that have studied the effects of traumatic exposure to violence on children have focused on elementary school-age children and adolescents. Preliminary evidence suggests, however, that preschoolers are also vulnerable to the effects of traumatic exposure to violence. There are clinical reports of children as young as 18 months who remembered traumatic events and were later affected by these memories.

Limited psychological and biological resources of young children’s run imminent risks of being easily overwhelmed, which may make them particularly vulnerable to the trauma associated with witnessing violence. Young children lack the cognitive and physical abilities to fully anticipate trauma or to protect themselves. Their sense of time is undeveloped. Young children live in the present and are unable to anticipate the future. They are not only the most defenseless victims but also find that they are least capable of communicating their fears.

One of the more sobering findings of the research studies conducted by Pynoos, Terr, and subsequent researchers is the extent to which exposure to trauma in children changes the way they view the world. Terr (1983) found that, even after four years had elapsed since the kidnapping, the children carried with them a pervasive and debilitating pessimism about the future. It seems that exposure to trauma produces a fundamental change in how children feel about the world and their place in it. This change in outlook has important implications for children’s behavior, ambition, and wishes for the future.

Research has suggested that a full 50% of the children exposed to trauma before the age of 10 years develop psychiatric problems later in life. Children who are victims of violence and those who are witnesses to violence are vulnerable to this symptomatology. The following sections describe two types of children who live with violence: children who are abused and children who witness violence.

The first category of children who live with violence is of those who experience maltreatment. Child maltreatment covers a spectrum of parental behaviors toward children that includes yelling, intimidating or shaming the child, neglecting the child, and physically abusing the child. Most researchers divide the broad topic of child maltreatment into two parts: parental acts of omission (neglect) and parental acts of commission (emotional and physical abuse). In fact, the majority of children who are abused experience more than one form of maltreatment.

In one study of families in which children were mistreated, in 50%- 60% of the families, children experienced both abuse and neglect; in 15% of the families, children experienced abuse only; and in 20% of the families, children experienced neglect only; in the remaining 5%-15% of families, children experienced “marginal maltreatment” (Crittenton, 1989). As stated above, young children, in particular, are at risk for child abuse. In 1990, almost 90% of those children who died from abuse or neglect were younger than 5 years of age; 53% were younger than 1 year of age.

Child maltreatment is the result of a complex set of interacting conditions, stresses, and other factors that affect families. Historically, the causes for child abuse and neglect were thought to rest within the family: The parents were emotionally unstable, had histories of abuse and neglect themselves, or lacked adequate knowledge about parenting. Some studies looked at factors associated with the children. Children who were abused were more likely to be highly active, to have been born prematurely, or to have a difficult temperament. Since the 1980s, sociologists and child development specialists have come to appreciate the influence of the community and larger culture and how these milieu factors may contribute to child maltreatment.

Garbarino and Sherman (1980) demonstrated that there are higher rates of child abuse in areas of poverty and inadequate housing. These communities, which are short on resources and have a more fragile infrastructure, were less able to offer support to families, thereby demonstrating that child abuse is not only a product of parental inexperience or previous trauma, but is also caused by stressful and unsupportive environments. This understanding of the ecological context of child abuse has important implications for its treatment and prevention. It is inadequate to address the problem of child abuse solely through parent counseling, because this approach assumes that the problem is entirely psychological. The ecological view of child abuse would, instead, target intervention to the environmental stressors of poverty, isolation, and inadequate services as major components of treatment. An Ecological treatment is more likely to effective than any other approach which is entirely psychological.

The United States has been reluctant to come to terms with child maltreatment. Few laws govern how parents may discipline their children. In many states, it is a felony to assault one’s wife but not to abuse one’s children. In a survey of attitudes across the United States about corporal punishment for children, 85% of the respondents believed that children could benefit from “a good spanking” occasionally. Regulation of family discipline is generally thought to be outside the scope of government intervention.

Barring malnutrition and disease, there is probably no other risk factor for children that might have greater consequences for their development than maltreatment by their parents. Children who are maltreated are at risk in the domains discussed below.

  1. Development of secure attachment relationships: The basic foundation for a child’s sense of self and capacity to form caring relationships lies in the establishment of a secure, trusting relationship with a primary care-giver in the first year of life. Secure relationships are not only necessary for children to learn to trust but also for allowing them to know that they are inherently lovable and worthwhile. Many maltreated children come to see themselves as unlovable. They mistrust others, they are anxious, and they develop insecure attachments. This insecurity has implications for children’s adjustment to preschool. These children may be extremely wary of forming relationships with adults; they may have great difficulty with separations from care-givers.
  2. Development of peer relationships: Because of their experiences at home, maltreated children may expect the same treatment from others. They engage in aggressive behavior because they are fairly accustomed to it having picked and seen a lot from their violent homes. They may misread even pacific social cues from their peers because they have learned to expect aggression from others. They have trouble making friends, which confirms their inadequacies and feelings of failure.
  3. Cognitive and language developments: Numerous studies have documented links between maltreatment and cognitive delays. Children who have experienced chronic neglect are at particular risk for delays. Maltreated infants begin to show cognitive delays in the first year of life. There is also evidence that these children experience language delays. Neglecting parents do not use language with their children as frequently as do those who are caring. A childcare center for maltreated children at Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, reports moderate language delays for all of the children at the center. These children go to school without a basic grasp of language as a tool. This can cause obvious handicaps in school routines. Such children do not come to view learning of a language as facilitative, nurturing, or even rewarding.

Children who have been physically abused may show symptoms generally associated with PTSD. Severe and chronic abuse may lead to more serious and intractable psychological states, including dissociative states and multiple personality disorders.

The second category of children who live with violence is of those who witness violence. As with maltreated children, there are fluid boundaries between the categories of children who are victims of violence and children who are witnesses to violence. Children who grow up in high- risk neighborhoods or families may be both victims and bystanders at various points in their childhood. Little has been written about children who witness violence.

The Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 1992. This project grew out of concern from pediatric health care providers about the children they saw. Increasingly, providers heard stories from children about shootings on the street or about violence in their homes. Their response to this problem was to establish a program specifically aimed at young children who were witnesses to violence. This program offers counseling to children and support for families in a way that considers the particular developmental capacities of young children. In the 2 years of the project’s existence, its staff has evaluated approximately 80 young children who have been exposed to violence. A great deal has been learned from these children about how violence affects their worldviews.

The Child Witness to Violence Project was conceptualized initially to help children cope with the phenomenal rise in drug-related assaults, street crime, and gang activity. The founders of the project were responding, in part, to the media attention to community violence. However, an analysis of the types of violence witnessed by children, referred to the project, reveals that domestic violence may be a far greater risk for young children than even street violence. Approximately two thirds of the children referred to the Child Witness to Violence Project had witnessed domestic violence. It seems, therefore, that the earliest lessons a child learns about violence are learnt at home and their tutors are primary care-givers.

Findings also show that even the youngest children referred to this project exhibit symptomatology associated with PTSD. Young children do not fully comprehend what they witness; they show clear evidence, however, of being frightened, confused, and anxious. Young children may exhibit sleep disturbances and increased anxiety at separations from care-givers. Their behavior may change dramatically. They either become highly anxious, active, and distractible or they withdraw in a shell and become emotionally passive and distant. Children show increased distress at anything that reminds them of the traumatic event. They also suffer from intrusive recollections of the event, which are the childhood equivalent of flashbacks in adults.

The following case example illustrates some of these symptoms in a very young child: Karen, age 2 years, 5 months, was referred for an assessment after she had been found by police in her home with her mother, who had been fatally shot. Apparently, she had been with her mother during the assault, which occurred several hours before police were summoned. In the beginning of the first assessment session, Karen immediately announced that her mother had been shot and was lying on the floor. She became overwhelmed and began to run around the room. For each of the next four sessions, she played out sequences in which she would call the police on the telephone, tell them about her mother, and describe how she was lying on the floor.

Her grandmother, with whom she now lived, reported that Karen had difficulty falling asleep at night, verbalizing before bedtime her intense wishes to see her mother. She had nightmares, some of which seemed to involve themes of shooting and crawling on the floor. Her grandmother described what appeared to be traumatic reminders of the event, such as her becoming anxious whenever she saw police because of her association of police with her mother’s death. Her grandmother also reported that her demeanor and personality seemed to have changed since the shooting. She was subdued, passive, and preoccupied and did not play with spontaneity or pleasure. Her grandmother contrasted this behavior with her previous cheerfulness and energy. Karen shows a range of symptomatology that is consistent of PTSD symptoms in older children and adults.

One of the more impressive findings from the children seen in the Child Witness to Violence Project (Groves, 1994) is the clarity with which they may recall the violent events. It is not unusual for a child to narrate the event or even to draw a picture of it that includes detailed information about the environment or the events immediately preceding the traumatic experience.

For example, an 8-year-old girl drew a picture of a shooting on the street in front of her house in which her younger sister was injured. In the picture, her family members were located exactly in the positions where they had been when the event occurred. She even remembered the color of the cars on the street. As she drew, she talked about how the sun was shining at an angle across the buildings. She recalled that her sister had lost a slipper just before the shots rang out. She began to replay the events immediately preceding the shooting, perhaps in an effort to achieve and justify another outcome of the tragedy. It was as though the event were imprinted in her memory with the clarity of a camera. All of the details were intact for her recall.

Children’s memories of events are greatly shaped by their cognitive appraisals of those events. Children may use all of their senses in remembering an event. Their views of the event may be distorted and idiosyncratic. For example, a 3-year-old boy was sitting in the front seat of a car when his adult care-giver, seated next to him, was shot. There was no forewarning of the event. His perspective of the event focused on his tactile memory of feeling the blood and his auditory memory of hearing the gun: “The gun went POW,” he said (Groves, 1994). He had no other perspective of the event.

These responses in young children have several implications for their development. First, children are forced to learn early lessons about loss, death, and body injury. These lessons present themselves even before the child has cognitive apparatus to understand them. How does a 3-year-old understand murder? What explanation can a 5-year-old create to understand why his father has just beaten and kicked his mother? Most importantly, children who witness violence also learn at an early age that the world is a dangerous and unpredictable place.

Their natural curiosity about exploring and moving out into the world is affected. An 8-year-old boy who witnessed the shooting of his younger sister told his therapist that he did not think he would ever feel safe again going outside. This message about the world is exactly the contrary of what we desire for young children. We know that young children begin to explore the larger world by cautiously moving out and sampling new experiences and sights. However, when children feel unsafe in this exploration, their curiosity is thwarted and their desire to learn by exploring is affected.

Second, children come to view the adults in their lives as incapable of protecting them. They extend such view and begin believing that they must take the responsibility on themselves, a prospect that causes great anxiety in children. A 5-year-old girl drew a picture of her mother, who is a victim of chronic domestic violence, lying on the floor beside her bed. The girl then told a story about how she and her little brother were playing alone in the next room. She began to worry that something might happen to her brother and that  how her mother would be unable to help her or her brother.

Third, children who witness violence experience overwhelming helplessness in the face of the trauma. This helplessness leads to feelings of incompetence and worthlessness. A 9-year-old boy who was shot in the leg on a playground managed to leave the playground during the melee. He did not tell his parents about the injury until they discovered blood several hours later. When asked about this astounding secrecy, he replied that he just wanted to hide because he feared he might be shot again.

Finally, children who feel so helpless and terrified sometimes turn to aggression and hostility as a means of coping with and transforming such vulnerability. They tend to believe that it is safer to be aggressive than to be a helpless bystander. In the Child Witness to Violence Project, children who witnessed violence drew pictures of playground fights being settled with guns or pictures of themselves armed with weapons. It is,therefore,quite possible that the 4-year-old bystander to violence grows up to be a 14-year-old perpetrator of violence because of his or her early experiences with violence.

Parents often mirror the same helplessness in the face of violence that children exhibit. Parents speak of guilt at their failure to protect their children from witnessing violence. In the Child Witness to Violence Project, it has been found that there are significant differences between how parents cope with domestic violence on the one hand and community violence on the other. Although some of these differences are self-evident, they bear scrutiny in terms of their impact on children. Families that are torn apart because of domestic violence are less able to psychologically support children in times of crisis than are families that face trauma from an external community source.

In the former family, the child may have no one to turn to for protection or reassurance. When one parent is the terrified victim and the other the perpetrator of violence, what choice does that child have? Mothers who are victims of domestic violence are worried about basic issues of survival and may be unaware of the extent of their children’s terror and phobia. For women who do not leave their partners, constant tension and fear exist about the next violent episode. Children are hypervigilant and anxious. Their mothers may be equally anxious and may focus most of their psychic energy on making sure there is no recurrence of violence.

When mothers and their children are forced to leave their homes and go into shelters, children face the additional trauma of loss of familiar space, facilities and belongings. They lose the support of their school or childcare network. They are forced to live in shelters with other families who are equally traumatized. The daily routines of shelters are necessarily regimented and strict to accommodate the needs of groups and to ensure the safety of the women. However, these rules and practices may not be the best for children. Their most expectations about a safe and peaceful alternate home are put paid to in such shelters. Therefore, shelters often are stressful and chaotic for children.

Families who have witnessed community violence, but who do not live with domestic violence, respond to the violence differently. A violent event may throw a family into turmoil, temporarily rendering the parents unable to perform some basic parenting tasks. When the violence occurs outside the home, however, parents may be able to offer better emotional support and protection to children than those parents who are directly involved with violence.

For example, one family with three children ranging in age from 8 to 17 years experienced the traumatic loss of a family friend as a result of a drive-by shooting. The shooting occurred on the family’s front porch; the adolescent friend died in the front hall of their house. All of the children witnessed this incident. Immediately after the trauma, the parents reported that they were preoccupied with the incident, they experienced intense guilt; they felt they should have been able to save the adolescent’s life.

They described themselves as emotionally paralyzed. With intervention, however, these symptoms abated; the parents were able to help each child cope with the aftermath of this tragedy by encouraging the children to talk about it and plan a memorial to this young friend. The fact that both parents were emotionally available to the children made a crucial difference in the children’s ability to accept and bear this traumatic event.

The burden for parents who live in chronically dangerous environments becomes more complicated and onerous. Parents are forced to adapt their parenting styles to the realities of the environment. This adaptation might even mean not letting children play outside, invoking strict curfews and other limits, and teaching children to be vigilant. Conflicts may arise between the children’s need for autonomy and the parents’ worries about their safety. Children may end up spending a great deal of their ‘no school hours’ trapped in the house, perhaps watching television or playing video games. These impersonal pastimes do not promote peer relationships or a sense of accomplishment and purpose in children.

Children are harmed in many ways through the abuse of their mothers. They are both physically and psychologically harmed. Often they are accidentally harmed by blows or flying objects aimed at the mother, or are stepped on or stumbled over, dropped when the mother is attacked, or injured before they are born when the mother is expectant. Batterers often deliberately abuse children physically and verbally to make the mother react and to establish an overall reign of terror and supposed discipline.

Aside from these direct forms of abuse, whether accidental or intentional, children are harmed by exposure to the abuse and by periodic or constant disruption of their daily lives. Abuse of the mother affects children most severely in their cognitive, affective and social development, which has a negative impact upon the child’s identity formation as a whole. The abuse also means a greater likelihood that the child will grow up to abuse his spouse.

Many studies have found a significant overlap between wife beating and child battering. This causes double trauma. These children suffer personal abuse from the perpetrator as well as experience the added trauma of abuse of their mother.  An abuser’s violence toward his mate causes a variety of psychological problems for his children, whether the violence is also directed at the children, whether the children are merely witnesses to the abuse, or whether the children do not witness the abuse directly but do suffer its consequences or aftermath. This psychological damage takes the form of

  • immediate trauma
  • adverse affects on the development of the children
  • living with high stress, including fear of injury to their mother and themselves and
  • exposure to violent role models. In addition they may be victims of abuse themselves as well.

Reports by battered mothers show that 87 percent of children witness the abuse. Many children actually see their father, stepfather, or mother’s boyfriend not only beat their mother, but rape her as well. Parents who contend that the children did not know are only deceiving themselves, and insulting the intelligence of their children. Many parents minimize or deny the presence of the children during the violence by suggesting that the children were asleep in bed or playing outside. Interviews with children have, however, revealed that children can accurately describe incidents of violence. The range of direct witnessing runs from a fleeting glance to witnessing the murder of their mother. While studies show that 87% of children knew about the abuse, it is likely that a significant proportion, if not all, of the other 13% were suppressing, denying, not telling, or didn’t recognize it for what it was at the time.

Those children, however, who do not directly witness their mothers abused, but who hear her screams and crying, the abuser’s threat, sounds of the impact of fists hitting flesh, glass breaking, wood splintering, or cursing and degrading language, are in fact a witness to the abuse. Events can be witnessed in many ways, not just by sight. Children also witness the consequences of the abuse after the abuse has actually occurred. For example, they may observe blood, bruises, torn clothes, broken glass, splintered furniture holes punched in walls, and their mothers’ tears, swollen faces and puffy eyes. They witness the tension in the house, apprehension of their mother when the abuser enters the room, and the way their mother jumps or tenses up when she hears his car pull into the driveway. Even the smallest infant is a “witness” to the abuse.

“We want to believe that children are affected by violence only if they witness it…. all the children I have seen over the years … were just as frightened hearing their mother’s screams as they were witnessing the abuse. I have heard repeatedly from children how they cover in the corners of their rooms, hide under their beds, curl up in the covers, hide in closets fearful that the violence will end in their mother’s death, and terrified of their fathers. That they will do and say anything their father wants them to do so he will not turn his violence on them.” (Cahn, 1994)

According to the New York Task Force on Women in the Courts, children who witness their fathers beating their mothers suffer slowed development, sleep disturbance and feel helpless, fearful, depressed and anxious. Studies show that these children also suffer (psycho)somatic symptoms; they have more hospitalization, colds, sore throats and bedwetting than children from peaceful homes. Lenore Walker (1979 concludes, “impressive data demonstrate that children who live in a battering relationship experience the most insidious form of child abuse. Whether or not they are physically abused by either parent is less important than the psychological scars they bear from watching their fathers beat their mothers.”

Children who live in a home where abuse occurs are always affected by it. It is easy to understand that children who are abused suffer a great deal from this abuse. However, direct witnessing of the abuse of their mother affects the children in a similar manner to children who are abused. Some of the most traumatizing experiences are when children are themselves abused and also witness the abuse of their mothers. These are instances of double traumatic whammies.

Initially, children exposed to violence experience trauma, shock, fear and guilt. When a violent incident occurs, they may try to intervene, subjecting themselves to possible injury, or respond with “immobilized shocked staring, with running away and hiding, or bedwetting and nightmares.” Preschool-aged children manifest intense fear, screaming, and resistance in going to bed, identifying nighttime with the occurrence of violence. As children grow older, they feel guilty about their inability to prevent the violence, loose respect for their apparently helpless mother, and feel anger towards her. Boys are aggressive and disruptive, fighting with their siblings and schoolmates; girls become clinging, withdrawn in a shell, passive, and anxious.

Children of all ages also present somatic complaints, ranging from insomnia, diarrhea and generally higher rates of illness in infants to higher incidences of colds, sore throats, abdominal pain, asthma, headaches and bedwetting in older children. Part of the pattern of spousal abuse may itself involve sleep or nutritional deprivation for the mother or children. Not surprisingly, then, children who are exposed to violence between their parents also experience delayed development of speech, motor and cognitive skills, and their school peer performance may suffer.

It is true that most of children of a divorced family suffer emotionally and physically as a result of their parents’ separation. However, Judith Wallerstein (Cahn, 1994), one of the few researchers to track such children over time, has found that children actually benefit when they are geographically separated from psychiatrically disturbed parents. This finding is consistent with Walker’s 1979 study of children who formerly lived in violent homes and now they expressed great relief at living with one parent-which was by and large peaceful. “The damage to a child from living in a violent household, even if he is not himself abused, should not be underestimated. This child is, for all intents and purposes, exposed to the same milieu as the battered child.”

Children exposed to wife abuse may be similar to those children described and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. DSM-III-R (American Psychiatric Association, 1987) contains a detailed definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumata that may result in PT threat to one’s life or physical integrity; or harm to one’s children, spouse or other close relatives and friends; … or seeing another who has recently been, or is being, seriously injured or killed as the result of … physical violence. In some cases the trauma may be learning about a serious threat or harm to a close friend or relative…”.

Growing up in a violent family creates problems in later life because of the defective values, attitudes and coping mechanisms it teaches. Children who see their own parents engage in violence, as well as children who are abused, are more likely to be violent with their mates. The more violence they see, the lesser they will tolerate as adults. More often than not the children in a violent family attribute all power to be on the side of the wrongdoer. The witnessing pattern of violence reinforces the lesson that violence is an acceptable solution. The children also learn unhealthy, untrue notions of sex and love, and equate relating in a sexual manner with rape, that is, as an expression of power or anger.

The studies do not prove a cause and effect between observing one’s father beat one’s mother and being an abuser or victim of spouse or a perpetrator of child abuse when one marries. However, they reveal various correlations and suggest that witnessing violence in one’s family of origin is an important variable associated with becoming either an aggressor or a victim. Children of violent fathers are more likely to be violent themselves. Thus, for children who live with a batterer, the continuing pattern of violence reinforces the lesson that violence is acceptable and puts them at risk for becoming abusers.

The first national survey on family violence suggested the connection between violence in childhood and the later use of violence. For example, men who had seen their parents physically attack each other were three times more likely to hit their wives than those who had not (35% vs. 11%). The sons of the most violent parents had a rate of wife beating 1000 times greater than that of the sons of non-violent parents. Hotaling and Sugarman (Cahn, 1994) found that of thirty-eight possible risk factors, three in particular had a very strong association with men’s use of violence towards wives or female partners. Two were the use of other forms of violence or aggression (the use of violence against children and sexual aggression against wives). The other was having witnessed parental violence as a child or adolescent. Wallerstein and Blakeslee (Cahn, 1994) found that almost half of the children from abusive families became abusive in their own intimate relationships later on.

Some suggest that the correlation is higher for boys becoming aggressors than girls becoming victims. Pagelow, in a paper presented before the Society for the Study of Social Problems, in 1982 stated: “…there appears to be much stronger evidence that boys subjected to or witnessing paternal violence in homes of orientation are more likely to become violent in their homes of procreation.”

Domestic violence has a severe impact on children. Children are often bystanders to the abuse. The psychological damage of witnessing abuse manifests itself in a variety of cognitive, psychological, and physical symptoms including eating/sleeping disorders, depression, aggressive acting out, stuttering, and destructive behavior. One study documenting the intergenerational incidence of domestic violence found that 81% of abusive husbands came from violent families of orientation. Another study reported that sons of the most violent parents have a rate of wife beating 1000% greater than that of sons of non-violent parents.

In addition to the psychological abuse, children also experience physical abuse. Recent studies documented a 60-70% correlation between spouse and child abuse. Children in abusive homes are at times isolated, forced to engage in the abuse of the other parent, threatened, interrogated, abducted, or physically and sexually abused. The abuse has irreparable effects on the minds and futures of these children. Sixty-three percent of young men in prison for homicide are serving time for killing their mother’s batterer.

The damage incurred by children due to domestic violence can start before birth. A study revealed that more birth defects result from the mother being battered than from the combination of all diseases for which pregnant women are normally immunized. Thirty-seven percent of all obstetrical patients across ethnic, class, and educational lines are physically abused while expectant. Domestic violence is an epidemic. All institutions of our society must collaborate in an effort to contain and eradicate it. If action is not taken, domestic violence will continue to claim thousands of lives each year, as well as damage the futures of many more.

Violence in the home translates into violence in the streets. A high proportion of juveniles who commit serious crimes come from homes where physical and sexual abuse of spouses and children had occurred. Violence, like the first alphabets, is something which children learn first and best at home. Little boys who witness or suffer domestic abuse too often grow up to be batterers themselves; little girls grow up to be victims. Breaking this vicious cycle is one of our most important goals. But the effects of domestic violence spread much farther than that. Children who experience abuse themselves, or who are helpless witnesses to violence against a parent, suffer shame, guilt, rage and self-hatred; a boiling mix of pent up emotions that especially during adolescence, can erupt into violence and serious criminal behavior.

If adults can reduce the incidence of domestic violence – physical and sexual against children – they can help reduce the incidence of crime outside the home as well. The most feared and troubling criminal today is the “juvenile predator,” the young offender who commits shockingly violent crimes, seemingly without remorse or hesitation. Most of the focus has been on how to punish such behavior. More attention has to be paid on its prevention.

The solutions are not easy. But surely one place to commence is the very first place that young people witness or experience violence. It is in the home that many young people learn that guns, knives or fists are a means of power, aggression and control. It is in the home where they learn to take out their rage and frustration on helpless and innocent bystanders. It is in the home where they learn that violence works to intimidate. It is up to resident adults to teach a different and sobering lesson. And they can possibly do that when they begin treating domestic violence as the serious criminal behavior that it actually is.

Children can be more distressed by seeing someone they hold dear being beaten or being hit, a study has found. Researchers Gabrielle Maxwell and Janis Lind surveyed 259 children aged 11 to 13 for the Office of the Commissioner for Children, to research children’s experience of violence (Forde, 1997). They presented their results to the Psychological Society’s annual conference in Palmerston North. Half of the children in the survey had seen adults fight. Many of these fights were physical and violent, and most happened in their homes.

The children rated seeing violence between adults as among the four worst things that had happened to them. The other three things were as worse as the death of someone close to them, separation and/or divorce of their parents, and bullying by other children. Ms Maxwell said this underlined the serious effect domestic violence had on children, even if they were not the ones being hit. New Zealand had a high level of family violence, and children witnessed this violence. “It’s an unrecognized form of violence towards children, yet children report this as having a greater impact on them often than being beaten themselves by adults.” (Forde, 1997)

Children found it deeply upsetting to see violence inflicted on someone close to them. It made them feel fearful and uncertain about their place in the world. Ms Maxwell urged schools, parents and other relatives to notice if children were the victims of violence, whether it be domestic violence or bullying, and respond positively to such children. To help children deal with a violent event, adults could encourage them to talk about what had happened, detect their inner feelings taking them seriously and respond (measure and provide) to their need for safety and protection. Children should be imparted skills to cope with their feelings and ways to make themselves safer, including knowing who to turn to if they felt frightened or threatened.

New Zealanders must do more to prevent children suffering psychologically from exposure to domestic violence, Child Youth and Family says. In a speech, to the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers recently, CYFS head social worker Shannon Pakura warned children were the silent victims of domestic violence. “The behaviors we see in children who have witnessed domestic violence are the same as those we see when children have suffered abuse themselves, ” she said. “Infants and toddlers are likely to exhibit psychosomatic disorders such as stomach aches, diarrhea, nightmares, and regressive behaviors.” (Forde, 1997)

Older children were likely to cope better with domestic violence because of support outside the home, but their educational achievements could nosedive. Ms Pakura said everybody in the community needed to be more aware of domestic violence. “We have to stop thinking that domestic violence just happens to adults and somehow the children in the family are unaffected, maybe don’t even notice. Growing up in a family with domestic violence has devastating effects.” (Forde, 1997)

She also pledged to improve the standards of social workers. A registration scheme with focus on raising professional standards would help achieve this. Wellington’s Sexual Abuse Help Foundation manager Marian Kleist said it was crucial that social workers received a strong level of support. “I think we have to stop just looking at the extreme examples of child suffering and focus on the very basic things we do to affect kids, ” she said. (Forde, 1997)

When women are battered, children in the home are profoundly affected. Almost all of the children know about the abuse. Battered mothers report that 87% of their children witness the mother’s abuse or see their injuries, but those working with the children report that virtually every child sees, hears, and/or observes the painful consequences of their mother’s abuse. Many children actually witness their father; stepfather or mother’s boyfriend not only beat her but rape her as well. Even when they do not see the abuse, they are profoundly affected by it.

The mother’s nurture natural and realistic fears for her children’s safety. Many violent fathers inadvertently injure children while throwing about furniture and other household objects while abusing the mother. The youngest children tend to sustain the most serious injuries, such as concussions, broken shoulders and ribs in such violent throw outbursts. Very young children, held  physically by their mothers in an attempt to protect them, are hurt when the men continue to beat the mothers disregarding the children’s safety. In a 36-month study of 146 American children aged 11 to 17, who came from homes where wife beating was a major problem, all sons over the age of fourteen attempted to protect their mothers from attacks – 62% of them sustained injuries in the process.

In addition, abusers of women often deliberately abuse their children. More than half of woman abusers beat their children; Walker (1979) found 53 percent; Bowker, Arbitell and McFerron (1988) found 70 percent. These studies also found that the more severe the wife beating, the more severe was the deliberate child abuse, with the strongest indicators being severity and frequency of wife beating and the frequency of marital rape. In homes where domestic violence occurs, children are abused at a rate 1,500 percent higher than the national average.

In addition, significant numbers of men who batter women also sexually abuse their children, especially their daughters. Fathers sexually abuse children in a quarter to a third of all domestic abuse cases. Studies show that almost half of all battered women were sexually abused as children, generally by a male relative. Studies of children who are sexually abused (usually by their father) find that the fathers frequently beat their mothers and sometimes the children as well. Hewitt and Friedrich (1991) reported on 108 midwestern children under the age of five seen at hospitals for suspected child sexual abuse. Of the 64 children who probably had been sexually abused, 59.4 percent of their fathers had beaten the mothers and 37.5 percent had beaten the children. Where the sexual abuse was uncertain, 76.9 percent of the men had beaten the mothers and 62 percent had physically abused the children.

Domestic abuse has severe psychological effects on children even when the children are not themselves physically being abused. Pagelow (1982) found that children show insecurity through clinging, crying, nervousness, and a constant need to know where their mothers are. They display somatic symptoms- colds, sore throats, bedwetting, insomnia and fitful sleep, which clear up soon after they get back to a battered women’s shelter. Like Walker, Pagelow (1982) found that children suffer fear, terror and guilt because of the violence they observe.

Many children from violent homes suffer low self-esteem, sadness, depression, stress disorders, poor impulse control, and feelings of powerlessness, and they are at high risk for alcohol and drug use, sexual “acting out,” running away, isolation, loneliness, fear and suicide. Sons become aggressive, act out, display disobedience and behave defiantly and destructively, whereas daughters become depressed, withdrawn, clinging, and dependent. Some adolescent boys assault their mothers and siblings. Older children, especially girls, take on the burden of protecting their younger siblings whenever the father resorts to violence against them. They feel constrained and are apprehensive of leaving home.

Walker found that children carry the psychological scars from watching their fathers beat their mothers. They learn to abet in a dishonest conspiracy of silence. They learn to lie to prevent inappropriate behavior, and they learn to suspend and suppress fulfillment of their needs rather than risk another violent confrontation. They expend a lot of energy avoiding problems, living in a world of their own make-believe. Children also become homeless as a result of domestic violence. Woman battering is the cause of homelessness for half of all homeless families in America.

The children’s lives are frequently disrupted by locational moves because of the abuse. In the study of 146 children referred to above, most children were living in battered women’s shelters with their mothers when first interviewed, and only a few were in protective homes for children or living with a friend or relative. In the year before they entered that location, two-thirds of these children had changed homes twice. Over 85 percent had stayed twice with friends or relatives. Some had even resorted to living in the family car when shelters were unavailable. Three-quarters of the children over the age of fifteen had run away twice a year. Most of these children had lost on considerable schooling because of the frequent moves and the disruption, or because they were too ashamed or embarrassed to go to school, having fled home without their books, money, or any changes of clothing.

Despite an enabling federal law which allows homeless children to attend school in the district where they presently or previously resided, many children are kept out of school for security reasons, because violent fathers use school records or the presence of the children at school to track down the accompanying mothers or kidnap the children to duress the separated family portion. The use of school records will continue to be problematic until all states have laws to protect the unqualified access to such records-especially the home addresses-from children’s abusive fathers. In a state without such a statute, a judge could order that the child’s records not be released.

Other children are unable to enroll in schools in their new district because they lack birth certificates, immunization records or other documentation- paperwork usually unavailable or left behind when fleeing homes from abuse. Abusers, who are extremely domineering and controlling, frequently keep or destroy such documentation as part of their control strategy of the family, thus preventing or seriously delaying the receipt of either welfare benefits or housing assistance by the breakaway family. Those children who do go to school are often stigmatized socially, and they are usually too distracted and inattentive to learn much.

Many women become homeless when courts award custody to their batterers or put their children in foster care. Such custody changes are especially likely to happen when the child has been sexually abused by the batterer, because many judges refuse to believe that fathers sexually abuse their children, or believe the myth that mothers fabricate allegations of sexual abuse in order to gain tactical advantage in divorce or custody cases. Yet studies belie these myths and find that only a few allegations do not involve abuse, and even those allegations are made in good faith. Removing the children from the mother’s custody generally deprives her of AFDC or child support or both, and may even obligate her to pay for child support. Even if she receives AFDC because she has children from another man, her economic situation may so worsen that she is still rendered homeless.

Babies as young as two weeks who witness domestic violence need as much help as their conflicting parents, a psychologist told a conference on violence. Clinical psychologist Dr Jennifer McIntosh said that infant victims of domestic violence had been “grossly overlooked” in favor of their parents. “We’ve got this situation in Australia where there’s a huge taboo about intervening directly with children in domestic violence situations,” Dr McIntosh told reporters at the Children, Young People and Domestic Violence conference (Babies…violence, APP N news, 2000).

Dr McIntosh said recent research had shown that infants affected by violence in the home were far younger than was previously thought. “As young as two weeks of age, children have been noticed to try to defend themselves physically when parents are having physical conflict,” she said (Babies…violence, APP N news, 2000). Children who are abused or just witness domestic violence are likely to then become perpetrators of violence in later life. More immediately, child witnesses suffer developmental and mental health problems, Dr McIntosh said.

“It’s pretty sobering – what we’ve known for a while is that children who’ve grown up in violent homes are at least four times more likely than other kids to develop mental health problems in childhood and adolescence and that might even continue into adulthood,” she said (Babies…violence, APP News, 2000). In later years, children had difficulty dealing with earlier accumulated fear and aggression, Dr McIntosh said.

Parents, who were themselves trying to cope with domestic violence were not quite in a position to help their children overcome the effects of trauma, Dr McIntosh said. Dr McIntosh called for increased support and attention to be given to victims of domestic violence who were as young as pre-school age. “I think the greatest group at risk are the pre-schoolers and infants because we think – because they’re so little – `oh, they didn’t notice’. It’s simply not true,” she said (Babies…violence, APP News, 2000).

Dr McIntosh said it was wrong to think that support for the parents involved in domestic violence would automatically help their children. “The missing link, in my view, is the direct work with the child when things are happening,” she said (Babies…violence, APP News, 2000).

The State’s Department of Community Services spokeswoman Carol Peltola said children could become victims of violence when parents are out of control (Children … violence, AAP News, 2001). Ms Peltola said often children could be injured because they try to intervene when their parents are fighting. She says the direct intention may not be to harm the child, but the child may be in the mother’s arms.

Committee chairperson of the event, April Pham, says 63 per cent of the 316 children murdered in Australia in the past decade died at the hands of a parent. Ms Pham said changes to the Family Law Act and massive cuts to legal aid mean an increasing number of children are placed in the doubtful care of violent fathers (Children … violence, AAP, 2001). Ms Peltola says there’s also serious concern for the long-term psychological effects of domestic violence on children. She says their high level of stress means they’re not able to achieve a lot of the milestones that children normally do achieve.

Researchers say family violence occurs in 3 million to 4 million homes in the United States, and they estimate that 3.3 million children and teenagers may be witnessing that abuse. Their mother fatally stabbed, their father charged with her murder, Sydney, 9, and Justin, 6, have been enveloped by an extended family and apparently shielded from the publicity. Like their parents, Sydney and Justin Simpson now join the victims of domestic abuse in this country.

  • Emotional/Psychological Abuse

The effects of domestic violence on children caught in the crossfire have been well documented. “Those two little kids are in serious need of major treatment for them not to be scarred for life,” said Elaine Fisher, executive director of Parents Anonymous in Maryland. “I see it all the time. What’s shattered is the child’s sense of safety and a sense of self-esteem.” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)  The coordinator of the Denver-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rita Smith, said, “The hardest thing for them is going to be reconciling the fact that they love their father with what potentially he might have done.” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)

O.J. Simpson has pleaded not guilty in the slayings June 12 of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Lyle Goldman. No one can presume to know how the children are faring; they are in the care of their maternal grandparents. What the children may have witnessed of their parents’, at times, abusive relationship also is unknown. During O.J. Simpson’s arrest in 1989 for beating his wife, Sydney would have been a preschooler and Justin still in diapers.

But, according to studies of battered women, anywhere from 68 percent to 87 percent of their children witness the abuse. Even if a child does not observe it, he or she instinctively knows it is happening. They wake to shouting in the night or to their mother’s blackened eye in the morning. “Kids who witness violence are really `at-risk’ kids for developing emotional and behavioral problems-more anxiety, less empathy, less self-esteem and more depressive symptoms,” said Diane Davis, a psychologist who runs group therapy sessions for children at the Domestic Abuse Project in Minneapolis. “Often these children live in fear and terror of when’s the next thing that’s going to happen. They’re always on guard.” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)

According to Davis and other counselors, the level of risk depends on several factors-age of the child at the time the abuse began, gender, role in the family, developmental status, extent of violence, repeated separations and moves, the level of emotional support in and outside of the family, and the family’s economic and social status. Children exposed to domestic violence feel isolated and rarely talk about “the family secret.” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)   Davis, the Minneapolis psychologist, believes the Simpson children may have been under even more pressure to keep the secret because their father was famous and beloved. “Kids often feel responsible for the violence,” she said. “It’s much easier to blame themselves (than admit their parents cannot provide a safe home for them).” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)   The number of children who lose a parent in such incidents is not known, although, in 1992, boyfriends or husbands, according to the FBI, killed 1,431 women.

Davis said that, in her treatment of children who have lost parents, “the kids glorify the deceased parent and deny the abuse occurred. They want to hold on to the good part of their parents. But they have to go back to the grieving process. You have to help a child work through the process that what (his father did) was bad, but I can still love my dad.” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)  Witnessing the abuse may leave much more than mere psychological scars. A child can learn to batter or learn how to take it. “They can either think that that is the appropriate way to respond and replicate the behavior or they can be so turned off by it,” said Sylvia Gafford-Alexander, of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “But the majority seems to live it out.” (Children … Say, The Baltimore Sun, 1994)

Millions of children may be suffering long-term psychological and emotional damage as a result of being exposed to frightening scenes of domestic violence. Many become aggressive, fearful, withdrawn and anxious, with severe sleeping problems. They experience difficulties at school and find it hard to form close relationships, a new study has found. The research by NCH Action for Children -examining the effects of domestic violence on children-found that two-thirds of the children of battered mothers had witnessed their mothers being beaten and more than a quarter had themselves been attacked.

One in ten mothers surveyed said they had been raped in front of their children. The survey, based on the experiences of 108 mothers with 246 children, also showed that their exposure to violence was prolonged – the average length of violent relationships was seven years. Based on reported domestic violence, 750,000 children are growing up in an atmosphere of fear and violence. But with most going unreported the figure could well be the tip of an iceberg, Tom White, director of NCH Action for Children, said (Mills, 1994).

”Society will ignore these ‘hidden victims’ of domestic violence at its peril. Unless we step in to provide positive, practical help, tens of thousands of children will grow up bearing the psychological scars that domestic violence has wreaked on young lives,” he said. The survey found that four out of five mothers believed that the violence had inflicted long-term damage on their children. Nearly one-third reported that their children had subsequently turned violent and aggressive. One child told researchers: ‘‘my sister went sort of haywire and my brothers went very nasty . . . he would run up and punch you.” Another said: ‘‘my sister does stupid stuff, like she lights a match and burns her hand with it.” (Mills, 1994)

The survey had found that all the children in the families were aware of the violence. Even if they had not witnessed it directly, 99 per cent had seen their mother upset or crying. Mr. White said: ”The disastrous outcome is that by 16 or 17 some of these children end up with no qualifications, poor employment prospects and may have become homeless and estranged from their families.”

The charity called upon the Government to amend the Children Act to categorize children in violent households as ”children in need” (Mills, 1994) so that they could gain priority access to social services and other support services. The report also called for a national strategy providing more support for victims, counseling of children, better access to housing for families who leave violent homes, more funding for women’s refuges, the establishment of a 24-hour domestic violence helpline, cheaper childcare for lone mothers and more training for professionals who come into contact with such children.

In the recent tragedies that affected the Asia-pacific communities, children were clearly the direct victims of domestic violence in their homes. In the worst possible scenario for children affected by domestic violence, six innocent children were senselessly murdered and seven children were left orphaned. This surely must have happened after a lifetime of witnessing and bearing the burden of the violence in their homes.

These tragedies demonstrate how serious an issue domestic violence is in our community. They also demonstrate the close relationship between domestic violence and child endangerment. How many more of our children are struggling daily with violence at home, as primary victims or as witnesses to beatings, punches, straps, and verbal threats? Many children living in violent homes face a double whammy-not only are they witnessing the violence; they are often the direct victims of the violence.

Studies have shown that children from violent homes are 15 times more likely to be abused or neglected than children from non-violent homes. Several factors contribute to this. As a bystander during a violent episode, a child may become the unintended victim. He also may get injured when he attempts to protect his mother from continued aggression. Children are sometimes put in the middle of fights and used by one parent against the other, forcing them to take sides in arguments.

A 1990 study indicated that nearly half of men who abuse their wives or girlfriends also abuse their children. Also, women who are battered are less able to care for their children since they are distracted as they are busy dealing with their own physical and emotional injuries and mental states. Estimates vary on the number of children who witness domestic violence, from 3.3 million to 10 million children per year. At least half of all residents of battered women’s shelters are children. Many parents fail to see or minimize the extent to which their children are affected by violence in their homes until it is too late.

Children from violent homes often provide their advocates/clinicians with detailed accounts of abusive incidents their parents never realized they had witnessed. The effects of being witnesses and victims of domestic violence on children are enormous and lifelong. Violence witnessed at home is often repeated later in life. A study found that 75 percent of boys who witness parental abuse have demonstrable behavior problems (Jaffe, et al., 1987). They are more likely to commit violent acts than those not abused. In another study, abused children were arrested by the police four times more often than non-abused children.

A child’s presence during violent episodes alone raises the possibilities for the child to sustain injuries. Children are traumatized by fear for their mother’s and their own safety. They are depressed over their own helplessness. They are confused by their hatred and love for the abuser and blame themselves for not preventing the violence and even for causing it. They are so preoccupied with what is happening at home that they may not do well in school, and may drop out and participate in anti-social activities.

They display adverse health symptoms ranging from sleep disorders, headaches, stomach aches, ulcers, and enuresis etc. Children from violent homes develop coping skills to survive. They may take on roles and responsibilities of parents and give up being children much earlier than warranted. They keep harmful secrets and are seen but not heard. They cannot have friends over because of the need to hide the violence in their homes. They are fearful of expressing their feelings lest they provoke or expose. Children learn from their experiences and surroundings. Children from violent homes learn to express anger in ways that are violent and abusive. Boys tend to copy the abuser’s domineering and abusive behavior, while girls tend to imitate their abused mother’s passive and submissive behavior.

In order to effectively address domestic violence in the Asian Pacific communities, adults must include the children’s perspective on the issue in their discussions and strategies. People must be careful about making rash judgments and penalizing battered women who neglect their children because of their own victimization. The responsibility for battering must rest squarely on the shoulders of batterers. The legal profession is failing to protect millions of children each year from the devastating physical and psychological effects of seeing a parent battered, according to an American Bar Association(ABA) report.

The report on “The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children” calls on lawyers to take a lead role in bringing about legal reforms designed to safeguard parents and children who are victimized by domestic abuse, and it recommends increased training for judges and lawyers involved in these cases. “We are essentially blowing the whistle on ourselves,” said ABA President R. William Ide III, who commissioned the study. “Too often, public attention has focused on family violence only when it surrounded a case involving a celebrity,” Ide said, referring to the O. J. Simpson case, which has permeated many of the programs at the ABA’s weeklong annual meeting. “Yet such cases provide vivid reminders that the legal system commonly fails to protect the victims of family violence.” (Kilbourne, 1994)

Many of the findings and recommendations of the above referred study   on heightened awareness of the problem, tougher enforcement of existing laws, and additional training for Family Court judges dovetail with a five-part series published last year by The Record. The New Jersey Assembly approved a package of bills that included legislation-requiring sensitivity training for judges, police officers, and judicial personnel who handled cases of domestic violence. The bills would add stalking to the list of offences defined as domestic violence, and also afford new protections to victims of abusive dating relationships.

The report estimates that anywhere from 3.3 million to 10 million children a year see domestic violence. Researchers believe that 87 percent of the children in homes with domestic violence witness the abuse. “They’re seeing it, they really are,” said Susan Murrell, who is with the Battered Women’s Project in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles. “The mothers don’t want to think so, but they are.” (Kilbourne, 1994) Murrell was one of the panelists at an ABA program on “Stopping the Spiral of Violence.” The session included heart-wrenching drawings by children that depicted husbands beating wives and fathers beating children. The effects of domestic violence on children range from the physical, such as birth defects, to the psychological, which can include anxiety, aggression, behavioral problems, lowered self-esteem, stuttering, and depression, the report stated.

Statistics released by the ABA show that children who witness domestic violence are likely to perpetuate the cycle:

  • Of American males aged 11 to 20 that are behind bars for homicide, 63 percent were convicted of killing their mothers’ batterers.
  • About 75 percent of boys who witness domestic violence were found to have demonstrable behavioral problems.
  • Domestic violence is found present in the families of 20 to 40 percent of chronically violent adolescents.

“Children see a whole lack of response to the battery, and it makes them lose respect for the system,” Murrell said. “This is a powerful, powerful message that they are getting.” “The time has now come for the entire legal profession to scrutinize and respond to this problem,” the report states. “The law must protect children who live in violent home environments.” (Kilbourne, 1994) The report calls for a number of changes in domestic violence laws and policies, including:

  • The adoption of domestic violence laws that require police and courts to adequately protect children.
  • Support for enhanced education, treatment, and awareness efforts related to domestic violence and children.
  • More legal representation for adult and child victims of domestic violence.
  • Prohibitions against the purchase or possession of firearms by perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • Consideration of domestic violence in all custody and visitation hearings.

“For too long, domestic violence was America’s quiet, ugly secret,” Ide said. “Police were not adequately prepared to handle domestic violence calls, prosecutors assigned junior attorneys to handle cases, and many judges shrugged their shoulders and looked the other way.” (Kilbourne, 1994)

A great deal of research has addressed the effects of television violence on children, the impact of maltreatment on children, and the scope of violence among adolescents. There has, however, been less systematic research on the effects that witnessing violence has on young children. Research projects underway in the 1990s in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Washington, DC, sought to gain a better understanding of children who witness violence. Harvard School of Public Health has begun a 10-year prospective study to learn more from young children about the precursors to violent behavior (Buka & Earls, 1993).

There are descriptions, in the literature, of children who have witnessed domestic violence. Methodological problems, however, exist with these studies. Most of these studies examined groups of children who were in domestic violence shelters, thereby making it difficult to determine whether behavior was the result of witnessing violence or was exacerbated by the stress of shelter living. Sample sizes were small; few data were available about young children.

Perhaps the most useful research about the effects of exposure to violence has been conducted by clinicians who were interested in learning more about the effects of trauma on children. Notable contributions in this area have come from Robert Pynoos (1987) and Lenore Terr (1983). Both researchers have provided in-depth looks at the effects of single disasters on children ranging in age from 5 to 12 years. Their findings have added greatly to the clinical understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The effects of chronic exposure to community violence have been less well studied. James Garbarino (1980) and others have described eloquently the difficulties of growing up in environments of chronic danger. There is, however, a lack of systematic research that assesses the impact of growing up with this kind of violence.

Data from the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect (Cahn, 1994) show that where there is child abuse concurrent with spouse abuse, 70% is committed by the man. The important fact is that, in most cases of child abuse, removing the children from the batterer’s environment and placing them with the mother virtually ends the child abuse. When children live in violent surroundings this affects them as individuals, but their bond with their primary caretaker is also affected. This bond between the primary caretaker and the child is critical to the child’s development. When abuse of the mother makes her unavailable to the child, not only is the child directly affected, but the bond formation also suffers a severe setback.

It is important that the child be allowed to form an unfettered and strong bond with the primary caretaker. The courts must consider the severity of harm involved in separating a child from the primary caretaker when making custody decisions. The courts should not separate the child from the primary caretaker unless the primary caretaker is shown to be patently unfit. To separate them or to let the child live in a violent environment is a double threat to the child’s ability to develop as a well-adjusted adult.

The parent to whom the children primarily look for day-to-day physical care, emotional nurturing, and approval is a significant figure to them. Most mental health professionals believe that attachment to the parent who performs these tasks, the primary caretaker, is the essential cornerstone for a child’s healthy emotional development. At the earliest stage, it is critical to the child’s learning to place trust in others and to have confidence in her own capacities. Later on this trust and confidence plays a central role in the child’s capacity to establish emotional bonds with other persons.

The facts can often establish the battered mother as the children’ s primary caretaker. Mothers today are still more often the primary child rearing parents. As in all families, bonding to the mother begins before birth. Undeniable biological facts — that only the woman carries the children, undergoes childbirth, and nurses the children create a much higher likelihood that the mother will have a stronger psychological tie with the infant than the father at the time of birth. Yet continuity of care with the primary caretaker should not be confused with constant availability. These are two different aspects. A mother who spends part of the day working may nonetheless be the child’s primary caretaker, and the fact that the child spends time in day care does not alter the significance of the relationship for the child.

The research on parents in violent families suggests that there is likely to be a substantial difference between the batterer and the victim both in their actual bonding and capacities for future bonding to the children. A batterer’s violence does not cease during pregnancy (it often commences or exacerbates at that point), and injuries that may be intended to cause miscarriage are common. After the child’s birth, the father’s unjustified sense that he must compete with it for the mother’s attention, or his arguments with mother about the children may precipitate violence. Further, while a batterer father may take a loving interest in his young children, as they grow older he is less able to tolerate the separation and individualization necessary for the children’s healthy development. He may try to exert control in the same intrusive manner as he had always used with the mother.

 A Sample Study

A compiled battery addressing the issue of domestic violence was administered to 30 randomly chosen children frequenting public places(public parks,gyms,sports stadium etc). The method of administration essentially comprised of multiple face to face interactions with teenagers over a period of one month seeking predetermined times for interactions after first random interaction. Based on the responses of interactions various responses to battery questions were recorded. The children who fell in the random sample were aged 6-14 years. Of these 17 were boys and 13 girls. The sample comprised of 13 white and 17 ethnic background teenagers. The random sample had 12 ghetto residencies, 11 apartment residencies and 7 shelter residencies. A total of 60% of the sample responded in affirmative to incidences of domestic conflict at least once a month. However 40% negated any presence of domestic violence in their families of orientation. Of these 40% a majority 90% were apartment residents indicating of relatively affluent standards of living and confirming the above held view that level of affluence of the family has much to do with incidence of domestic violence; whereas the ghetto residents reported the incidence of domestic violence in 83% of the cases. All of the shelter residents reported domestic violence in their erstwhile homes. Both ghetto(80%) and shelter residents(100%) reported frequent incidence of domestic violence in that they responded in affirmative to having such violence more than twice in a month. Of the ghetto residents reporting high frequency of domestic violence 75% affirmed that they had missed schooling for more than a month in the last one year on account of incidence of parental conflicts and only 25 % reported that they had schooling absence of less than a month; 100% shelter residents reported having missed regular schooling for more than a month.50% of ghetto residents reporting high frequency of domestic violence admitted to have been booked by police for minor crimes in the last one year on more than three occasions whereas the other half reported to have been booked less than three times; none was crime free. In case of shelter residents only 30% admitted to have committed minor crimes in the past three years on less than three occasions; 70% were free of crime and none had indulged in any category of crimes on more than three occasions during the past one year.

While 75% of ghetto residents reporting high frequency of domestic violence admitted affiliation to a street or school gang indulging in violence and petty crimes only 30% of shelter residents reporting high frequency of domestic violence admitted such membership. It was surprising to note that even those ghetto residents and apartment residents who had either reported mild frequency of domestic violence or no occurrence were also gang members but they had not been involved in any crimes.100% of those suffering high frequency of domestic violence-both in ghetto and shelter residences-reported steep fall in scholastic achievements since domestic violence became a regular feature in their families. A few of them wistfully recollected their high achievements from the period when their familial environments were peaceful. Again almost 100% of the respondents suffering high frequency of domestic violence reported an attachment with firearms and felt excitement in its use. All of them admitted to have used firearms since violence began plaguing their homesteads on more than one occasion-particularly in gang environment.40 % of ghetto residents suffering high frequency of domestic violence felt that they might move to shelter if their family environment continued the way it was; whereas only 10% of shelter residents felt that they might move to a regular home with in next three months. The response of ghetto residents indicates that 60% of the children, despite high frequency of domestic violence, had high resilience and were able to cope with adverse circumstances.88% of ghetto residents, suffering high frequency of domestic violence, believed that fathers were responsible for most of the domestic violence whereas 100% of shelter residents felt as much. The recall rate of number of incidents of violence was highest in the age group 12-14 years and poorest in the age group 6-8 years thus not supporting the conclusion that younger kids are able to recollect such details comprehensively. They tended to grope and recollect events that too vaguely. Even recent incidents were not clearly recollected. Only those having suffered high frequency of domestic violence were examined from this point of view. Girls suffering from high frequency of domestic violence were more locked, so to say in their homes when compared to boys. 50% of ghetto residents reporting high frequency of domestic violence admitted to have suffered abuse themselves either as physical,sexual,emotional or sheer neglect or in combination of these;100 % of shelter residents had suffered thus in their erstwhile homes.30% of the girls reporting high frequency of domestic violence reported sexual abuse in one or the other form.  The data summarizing major conclusions is contained in tables 1 to 10 at Appendix A. These conclusions more or less support the findings carried in other studies and research.


Recognition of the surprising depth and intensity with which violence permeates the American home began to emerge over the past two decades. Society began to slowly and reluctantly unlock the secret doors of family life. Reports of woman battery, child abuse and incest continue to increase in number. These crimes are reported more, in part, because the public has become aware that these acts are, in fact, crimes punishable under the law. As these family secrets are now seen as crimes, people are more likely to report what had previously been hidden and denied. Nevertheless a great need still exists to educate the public, as well as law enforcement personnel, child welfare personnel, judges, lawyers, doctors and mental health professionals.

All types of reported child abuse cases increased from 416, 000 in 1976 to 1.7 million in 1984. The number of reported child sexual abuse cases rose from 12,480 in 1976 to approximately 221,000 in 1984. Studies show that children are often involved, either directly or indirectly, in family violence, and are often the subject of the initiating arguments that lead to the violence. One study indicates that at least 3.3 million children in the United States, between the ages of 3 and 17 years are at risk of exposure to parental violence. Many parents minimize or deny the presence of the children during the violence by suggesting that the children were asleep in bed or playing outside. From interviews with children, however, it is show that children can accurately describe incidents of violence. The range of direct witnessing ranges from a fleeting glance to witnessing the murder of their mother.

In what promised to be a landmark decision in Massachusetts and important in the rest of the nation, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that domestic violence must be given substantial consideration in custody determinations. The decision, offered trial judges further guidance in applying the “best interest of the child” (Witt, 1995) standard in determining custody awards in that it identities domestic violence as one issue that must be considered. In doing so, the court recognized that domestic violence directly causes harm to the child who observes it and may reflect on the parenting capability of the perpetrator of the violence.

The decision, written by judge Charlotte Perretta, concluded “that in cases where, as here, there is credible evidence of physical abuse to a household member by a person seeking custody of or visitation with a child, a trial judge must make detailed and precise findings which demonstrate that the effects of the domestic violence on the child have been evaluated and, in the event physical or legal custody is awarded to the perpetrator of the abuse, how such an award advances the best interests of the child.” (Witt, 1995) On that note, the Appeals Court reversed the trial court judgment awarding physical custody to the father and remanded the case for a new hearing on the issue of permanent custody in keeping with its opinion.

The case arose out of a complaint for paternity that was filed by a father 24 hours after the mother obtained an abuse prevention order that required the father to vacate the home they shared and gave her custody of the minor child, a boy, age 9 at the time of separation. The parents subsequently entered a written stipulation as a temporary order in the Probate & Family Court which provided for shared legal and physical custody, divided the child’s time equally between the parents’ households, and provided for a sharing of all the child’s expenses. The mother’s abuse prevention order remained in effect, as modified by the temporary order relating to custody entered in the Probate Court. After a guardian ad litem appointed by agreement of the parties filed a report indicating the “child’s desire to spend more time with Dad than Mom,” (Witt, 1995) the trial court gave the father temporary physical custody, subject to visitation by the mother to pay child support to the father.

At the time of trial, the mother presented testimony through her adult children who had lived in the household and  had observed the father abuse the mother and child, as well as expert testimony from a foremost authority on the subject of battered woman’s syndrome. Dr. Peter G. Jaffe, Director of London Family Court Clinic, in London, Ontario, Canada and co-author of books entitled Children of Battered Woman (1990, Sage), and Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Woman (1995,Sage), testified based upon interviews and testing of the parties and the child that the mother suffered from battered woman’s syndrome, and that the child “suffers from some of the emotional and behavioral problems experienced by who have witnessed abuse of their mothers.” (Jaffe et all, 1987)

Dr. Jaffe expressed his opinion as referenced by the Appeals Court in its decision that “the child should not be permitted to live with the father who perpetrated violence against the mother, (emphasis added) because: ‘Children who live with batterers basically are learning that violence and threats of violence and intimidation is a way to get what you want. So they’re really having a number of inappropriate behaviors being modeled for them about the use of threats of violence both in general and, in particular, violence within relationships. Children of that age also learn that if the person who has been abusive during the relationship receives custody for them … it says that the violence has been condoned or reinforced in some way; that if somebody is really aggressive and intimidating, they can eventually get what they want.” (Witt, 1995)

Therefore, the Appeals Court acknowledges not only the need to examine evidence of direct harm to the child, which was also evident in this case but not considered significant by the judge, but the effect of domestic violence within the family unit on the children exposed to it. In fact, the Court cites Dr. Jaffe’s testimony that “research indicates that ’80 percent of all men who battered their partners have witnessed violence in their family of origin’ and ‘boys tend to model their father’s behavior … especially boys who identify strongly with their father try to model their father’s behavior.’” (Witt, 1995) The implication of this case for breaking the vicious cycle of violence disclosed by this research is significant. For the first time, the trial court is being directed to examine an area that previously has been ignored, or more often misunderstood.

Prior to this case, the only guidance the trial court had was an express reference in Massachusetts law that the court consider all relevant factors including “whether any member of the family has been the perpetrator of domestic violence” (Witt, 1995) in determining whether temporary shared legal custody would be in best interest of the child. Although the Massachusetts law does not specifically cover paternity cases, applying the rational of a similar case, the Massachusetts law, arguably requires that the same rights and protections be afforded to a child born in or out of wedlock. While this opened the door for the trial court to consider domestic violence on the issue of permanent custody, it did not promote consistency in the treatment of this issue by trial judges, some of who did not understand the effect of violence on the children or mistakenly believed that domestic violence was no longer an issue after the parties separated.

In the Massachusetts court case the Appeals Court addresses the failure of the trial court “to make detailed and comprehensive findings of fact on the issues of domestic violence and its effect upon the child as well as upon the father’s parenting ability.” (Witt, 1995) The opinion indicates that the trial court’s finding that the father was the primary care giver “should not be afforded substantial weight without a determination as to the quality of that care.” (Witt, 1995) There was testimony that the father had usurped much of the mother’s parenting responsibilities and actively interfered in her relationship with the child in an effort to control the mother and the child.

Although the “best interest of the child standard” (Witt, 1995) has traditionally weighed heavily in favor of the primary care parent, the court appears to acknowledge, based upon the expert testimony, that in a situation such as this, where a woman suffers from battered woman’s syndrome, the parenting relationship is affected and traditional ways of determining which parent is the “primary care parent” (Witt, 1995) do not apply. In fact, the evidence indicated that the father used fear and intimidation to control the tangible duties of parenting by violent and abusive behavior, and that the mother could claim only those areas that the father was unwilling to take. The reference to “father’s parenting ability” (Witt, 1995) seems to imply that a history of being a batterer may go to the issue of fitness to parent a child, in much the same manner as drug or alcohol abuse or mental instability affects such determinations.

The argument advanced on behalf of the mother, both at the trial and appellate levels, was that the father’s history of committing violence against the mother and the minor child impaired his fitness to parent the child. The specific risk to the child that were alleged by the mother, through her expert witness, were the likelihood based on past experience that the father would continue to verbally and physically abuse the child, and the likelihood that the child would adopt these inappropriate behaviors in his future relationships and become a batterer as an adult, thereby perpetuating the cycle of violence represented in this family.

While the Appeals Court talks about the impact of domestic violence on the parenting capabilities of the father, it does not rule out that the father could obtain custody. Rather, The court leaves open the possibility of custody if “detailed and precise findings of fact … demonstrate that the effects of domestic violence on the child have been evaluated and, in the event physical or legal custody is awarded to the perpetrator of the abuse, how such an award advances the best interest of the child.” (Witt, 1995) To date, proposed legislation that would create the kind of statutory presumption that it is not in the best interest of a child to be placed in the custody of a batterer has not been successfully advanced in our legislature although the need for such legislation was identified in the 1989 Gender Bias Study of Courts in Commonwealth of Massachusetts conducted by the Supreme Judicial Court.

The Gender Bias Study also made the following pertinent findings relative to domestic violence and custody of children as argued to the Appeals Court by the mother in this case:

  1. there is a tendency of judges to doubt the testimony of domestic violence victims, and to blame them for their predicament, thereby holding them responsible for their own abuse
  2. ignorance about the psychology of female victims of domestic violence interferes with the ability of the legal system to respond in an effective way because judges do not understand “battered woman’s syndrome” and therefore believe that women exaggerate the extent of violence or abuse when in reality they tend to minimize or deny its severity;
  3. a mother seeking custody is held to a different and higher standard than a father, with the result that fathers who actively seek physical custody receive either primary or joint physical custody 70% of the time; and
  4. custody of children is often used by a batterer as a bargaining chip to control a victim.

Although this decision involved the paternity case, it is clear from the opinion that it has application in all cases involving custody of children, whether marital or non-marital. In fact, in addressing the inappropriateness of shared legal custody under the facts of the case, the court did not rely on the earlier Massachusetts law clause which was dispositive on the issue, but said specifically that “the award of joint legal custody is inconsistent with the overwhelming undisputed evidence of hostility between the parents and their disagreement on matters pertaining to the child.” Interestingly, the court also reviewed the post-judgment docket entries and orders in noting that the ongoing conflict had continued after the judgment was entered.

The Appeals Court further found that the trial court was clearly erroneous in its finding that there had been mutual battering, which “suspect finding … appears to have formed the basis for the trial judge’s imprecise finding that the child `could be said to be at risk with either’ of the parents.” (Witt, 1995) The opinion considers that while technically correct in finding that there was force used by each party against the other, the finding of “mutual battering” (Witt, 1995) was “inconsistent with the evidence about which the trial judge made no findings, that is, that the mother suffers from battered woman’s syndrome and that most of her physical acts of force were defensive.” (Witt, 1995) (emphasis added) Although the guardian ad litem and the mother’s expert witness, Dr. Jaffe, both testified that the mother suffered from battered woman’s syndrome, the trial judge made no finding in that regard. Rather, in arriving at his decision concerning custody, he gave weight to the child’s stated preference to live with his father, and the fact that the father had been the primary care parent in recent years.

Domestic violence is a societal problem that requires a multi-disciplinary approach to solve. It requires attorneys and judges to join together with mental health professionals to first identify and then protect its victims, including the children. Once we acknowledge the potential harm to the child, appropriate services must be provided to protect the child. This requires that the trial court fashion judgments that will address treatment for the batterer, and counseling and protection for the victim and children. The need to protect victims necessitates examining the need to supervised visitation. In this particular case, the domestic violence expert stated his opinion that supervised visitation was warranted if the father was not in counseling for batterers and capable of acknowledging his inappropriate behavior. However, services for batterers are not readily available throughout the Commonwealth, which makes protection even more critical for victims and their children.

The United States Commission on Civil Rights (Cahn, 1994) indicated that the generational cycle of violence should be broken by focusing on the children of abusive families. In custody cases involving domestic violence judicial process can be best accomplished by placing the children with the non-abusing parent for several reasons. Battered women themselves usually do not come from violent homes; batterers do. In fact, most battered women’s first exposure to domestic violence is with their husbands.

Thus, violent behavior and tolerance for violence is less ingrained in the mothers than in the fathers. Most former victims of violence are extremely careful not to choose another violent man for an intimate relationship, and so are likely to lead violence-free lives after separating from the children’s father. Abusers, on the other hand, are poor candidates for counseling. They are unlikely to believe their conduct is wrong or should be changed, and so are less likely than their mates to break the pattern of violence.

There is a high correlation between spouse abuse and child abuse. Men who abuse their wives are often also violent towards their children. One study found the rate of child abuse to be 129% higher in families with spouse abuse. Another found that 45% of assaults on women are accompanied by physical assaults on a child as well. Also, it is not unusual for batterers to sexually molest their victims’ children. Therefore the custody decisions should be grounded on the realities of all of the above stated reasons in order to get secure environment for their children.

Prescott and Letko (Cahn, 1994) report that 43% of women in a shelter had children who were victims of physical violence by the same offender. Roy reports that 45% of the children of battered women are physically abused. Jaffe, Wolfe and Wilson (1987) summarize the rate of overlap between witnessing and being a victim of physical abuse as between 30% and 40%.

Several other studies support the correlation theory. A study of 27 abused women and their children in an upstate New York battered women’s shelter found a distinct correlation, finding that 63% of the batterers had also used abusive tactics on the children during the previous year. Abusive tactics were such as to result in injuries viz. from kicking to the use of a weapon. While 55.6% of the women had also used such tactics, the study found that men engaged in this conduct almost twice as often. After completing a follow-up on the women when they left the shelter, it was concluded that the data provide encouraging evidence that the risk of child abuse may be significantly reduced following the intervention of shelter staff and services. The no-violence policies at shelters, and the assistance which shelter staff provide mothers seeking financial and emotional independence, are two helpful features of shelter intervention that may reduce the risk of child abuse.

Another study compared 87 servicemen who had been reported and confirmed as batterers, and 95 who had not been. Using the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI), the researchers found that 36.5% of the spouse abusers had elevated scores, indicating a higher potential for child abuse, and their mean scores were higher (Cahn, 1994). The CAPI, developed in 1979, is a 160-item, self-administered screening tool, which requires the individual to agree or disagree with various statements. In other studies, it has correctly identified confirmed child abusers 89% of the time.

The results of a women’s magazine-solicited survey of 1,000 battered women showed 77.5% of them had children in common with their abusers and 70% of the wife beaters also had abused the children. The mother’s ability to protect the children from abuse was closely related to the father’s tendency to prevail in disputes between the two (a factor labeled “husband dominance” by the researchers). The greater the husband dominance, the greater the likelihood of child abuse. The more serious the wife abuse, the more serious the child abuse was likely to be.

Over $30 million has been awarded through Fiscal Year 1998 to rural states and jurisdictions to assist in strengthening the investigation, prosecution, and delivery of victim services in domestic violence and child abuse cases. An additional $20.6 million was awarded. In Bonner County, Idaho, where no domestic violence program existed prior to a 1997 rural award, advocates respond with law enforcement to domestic violence calls and provide outreach and follow-up services to victims.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) also targets children. Grants are made available to limit the effect of violence on children, including runaways and homeless children, and to create safe places for children. VAWA funds have also supported the opening of a shelter for battered women and their children. In the first year, advocates served 172 victims, and the shelter served 65 women and 67 children. In 1998, the advocates served 215 victims, and the shelter served 56 women and 64 children.

In rural Massachusetts, health and human service providers, law enforcement officials, clergy, and others are receiving training to address domestic violence and child victimization in their communities. The goals of the project include prevention through community education and outreach, advocacy and counseling to children and non-offender parents, and coalition building to address victims’ safety and access to community resources.

Rural communities are reaching farther to respond to child abuse and to identify how technology can help address the geographic isolation that limits services. Many rural areas are seeking to establish supervised visitation centers, where court-ordered visitation can occur without putting children at risk. Others are recognizing the needs of under-served communities and plan to develop bilingual police or advocacy units.

While the central goal of VAWA is to improve the criminal justice system’s response to violence against women, victims face related problems in civil matters such as custody and visitation, abuse and neglect, child support, divorce, and other civil cases where domestic violence is involved. Child custody cases involving domestic violence pose particularly difficult challenges for judges, battered women, and children. In October 1998, the Department awarded $11.5 million to victims and legal services organizations, battered women’s shelters, law school clinics, and bar associations to strengthen civil legal assistance for victims of domestic violence. The Department awarded another $21.9 million in June of this year.

An emerging body of research shows that children who witness domestic violence manifest a range of behavioral and emotional problems, and there is some evidence that they are more likely to use violence as adults. Studies also demonstrate a significant co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse, revealing that in 30 to 60 percent of cases where women are abused, their children are also maltreated. If we are going to help our young people to lead lives free from violence, we must intervene early to make sure that abused and neglected children and children who witness domestic violence do not turn to violence themselves. The Department is supporting efforts to break the inter-generational cycle of violence, guided by the principle that more often than not, when moms are safe, their kids are safe too.

Under VAWA’s rural grant program, grantees are using federal funds to develop partnerships between child protection workers and battered women’s advocates to help address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse and to ensure the safety of battered children. For example, a community partnership in Oregon places domestic violence advocates in three local child welfare offices to provide consultation to child protection workers and direct service to clients.

In Miami-Dade County’s Juvenile Court, VAWA funds are supporting a demonstration project that provides domestic violence screening and advocacy for battered women in child abuse and neglect cases. The result is the coordination of intervention services for battered women and their children, making it possible to protect children while reducing the likelihood that battered women will be revictimized or held accountable for the actions of their abusers.

Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder is leading the Department’s Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, which involves a range of efforts that promote justice system reform and encourage a new level of multi-disciplinary collaboration to address the needs of children who are victims of, or witnesses to, domestic violence. In June of this year, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, Eric Holder convened a national summit on children exposed to violence that brought together scholars, clinicians, service providers, policy makers, law enforcement, and judges to share best practices and develop a blueprint for local action. The summit highlighted the need for communities to support and protect battered women as a critical component of any effort to protect children.

As part of the Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, the Department is supporting New Haven, Connecticut’s Child Development-Community Policing Project, in which police “first responders” at a violent crime scene receive mental health training and work with child development specialists to give traumatized children the needed support. VAWA funds for this project support advocacy and therapeutic services for battered women, as well as for their children who have witnessed violence in the home.

States increasingly recognize that domestic violence hurts children, too. Forty-two states plus the District of Columbia now include domestic violence as a factor in custody decisions. This is an emphatic reform addressing the needs of children who live in violent homes. Parents are educated about the effects of domestic violence on their children. The Dade County, Florida, Domestic Violence Court (DCDVC)-in partnership with a facility associated with the University Of Miami School Of Medicine (The Mailman Center for Child Development, which has developed a 10-week age-specific counseling program for children who have witnessed domestic violence)-makes completion of the group counseling by the defendant’s children a condition for the defendant’s probation. Through these and other efforts, the Department will continue to support innovative community collaboration to intervene effectively in cases involving children’s exposure to domestic violence as well as the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse.

Wayne County has an excellent program for dealing with domestic violence, and people are learning how to do it better all the time. The prosecutor’s office, including the Child and Family Abuse Bureau, known as C-FAB, deals with more than 4,000 cases annually. That is four times as many as they had handled only three years ago. Changes in state law and their own procedures have made it easier to track and prosecute abusers and to protect their victims. More people need to be aware of them.

In a continuing effort to involve all segments of the community in the effort to combat domestic violence, the Wayne County Coordinating Council to Prevent Domestic Violence is in Livonia. The council is comprised of 35 law enforcement, health and social service agencies.

  • Future Implications For Research

Several areas for research in the area of violence and children are important. These areas include a focus both on prevention and intervention. Evidence shows that aggression in young children is a strong predictor of aggressive behavior in adults and those aggressive patterns of behavior become more pronounced and stable over time. Prevention efforts in early childhood must, therefore, focus on how children learn aggressive behavior and how best to intervene to change these patterns of interaction before they become entrenched. A burgeoning number of violence prevention curricula exist for children, and there are ongoing efforts to evaluate these programs. Do these programs work? Are they more effective for certain ages than others? Are certain approaches better to use than others? Which ones are developmentally appropriate for younger children? Additional research is needed in this important area of prevention.

Another area of research in prevention is a family support program. Many professionals are deeply committed to the notion of enhanced social supports to all families as a way to eliminate some of the stresses that lead to family violence. These supports include parent education resources, universal supportive intervention after the birth of a child, access to high-quality child care and after-school care for children, and access to a range of other community support services. The belief is that these programs relieve stresses in families, decrease isolation, and give specific information about child rearing. Such interventions improve the quality of life within families and reduce violence in the family. Research is needed to develop different models of family support and to determine which models of family support are most effective.

Yet another area of research lies in the exploration of the factors that help children cope with exposure to violence. It is widely known that not all children who grow up in violent environments have poor scholastic or life outcomes. Some children survive great adversity and grow up to lead productive and nonviolent lives. What are the protective factors that enable children to cope with adverse environments? A greater understanding of the factors that promote resilience in children would give valuable direction for treatment and prevention of debilitating effects of domestic violence.

The final area in which research is needed is the analysis and evaluation of various treatment approaches for children who have been exposed to violence. No studies exist on the efficacy of treatment for young children who have witnessed violence. There are clinical and anecdotal descriptions of successful treatment of children, but there are no controlled studies of intervention.


Any effort to address the problems of violence and their effects on young children and families must involve comprehensive and multidimensional strategies. A single dimensioned intervention will fall short of its goals. Between 1993 and 1995, several commissions and professional organizations have produced detailed recommendations for addressing the issues of violence in U.S. society. These reports share substantial agreement. All of the reports include recommendations for community-wide collaborative approaches to dealing with violence. No single institution can take on the task on stand alone basis. Schools must unite with health, mental health, and law enforcement agencies to provide services and support to affected families. Social institutions, such as churches and civic groups, must join the efforts as well. Across the United States, for example, there are new collaborations among child development and law enforcement professionals and coalitions of ministers to address the issue of violence.

These recommendations also call for family-centered approaches to intervention. These approaches affirm that parents are often the most important influences for children and that parents themselves also need help in coping with violence; they need information about what, when and how to tell children. They need universal support and education in child rearing to improve parenting skills and learn about non-violent ways of conflict resolution. When possible, parents should have access to this information and support before they do have children so that this philosophy is well woven into the context of parenting from the beginning.

It is also important to recognize the sharp impact of poverty and racism on the epidemic of violence in the United States. Living in poverty increases the likelihood of both experiencing child abuse in families and of experiencing violence in the community. Any strategy to reduce violence must address these root causes. In Boston, Massachusetts, a community- based child abuse prevention program conducted a community survey to find out from families what services they needed the most. The responses included requests for basic services: food pantry, adult literacy and English classes. When families do have access to more concrete and assured services, stress is reduced and the likelihood of violence is likewise reduced. Perhaps because of this all comprehensive violence prevention programs must first address basic family needs.

In the arena of public policy, five recommendations can be put forward:

  1. The issue of media violence must be addressed. The Federal Communications Commission should review, as a pre-condition of license renewal, the efforts of television stations to decrease the amount of violence on television and to increase the amount of positive, pro-social media content. Individual citizens should make their voices heard in protest against excessive projection of violence in the media. Families and schools should sensitize children to the negative effects of television violence and teach children critical and selective viewing skills.
  2. Efforts to support legislation to regulate gun ownership and licensing are critical. Such efforts have been difficult to achieve because of the powerful lobbying efforts of organizations such as the National Rifle Association. However, it is imperative that the United States enacts legislation that reduces the proliferation of guns and limits access to weapons-particularly for certain tender age groups.
  3. A campaign to reduce institutional violence, particularly restraining the use of corporal punishment in schools, must be initiated. As of 1993, corporal punishment was still legal in many states. If schools are to be a refuge for children, they must be models of non-violence.
  4. Legislative efforts to address the social causes of violence, ­poverty and racism ­must be initiated. An alarming number of children are growing up with persistent poverty; the majority of these children are from variety of ethnic groups. Poverty has been directly linked to family and community violence. Any efforts to reduce violence must, therefore, address the problem of poverty first.
  5. Programs that offer an effective intervention, right from the stage when children are still young, are critical in the overall efforts to reduce violent behavior. This intervention may include family support, parental education, and specific and targeted violence prevention programs. Legislators seem reluctant, however, to allocate funding to programs that intervene early in children’s lives. The 1995 debate in the United States on the federal crime bill provides a case in point. The debate is whether to put money into building more jails and hiring more police or to put money into programs for children that would reduce delinquent behavior. It seems short sighted to treat the results of violence without addressing its causes. If intervention were to occur early in children’s lives to provide adequate support for parents so that they could raise children in a healthy, safe, and nurturing way, then the need for jails would also be reduced as there would be logical reduction in the number of criminals.

Noted psychiatrist and author, Judith Herman (1992), writes,” When traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to remain neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides” (1992, p. 7). The caregivers of young children, therefore, must not be passive bystanders to the violence with which young children live. Those who care for children must raise their voices in protest at the ballot box, in the media, in the community and in their work with families to make the world a safer place for children.

The children of battered women as a group have not received the attention in professional literature accorded to other survivors of family violence. Although incidental references, anecdotal reports, and descriptions of shelter-based programs have been published since the late 1970s, research focusing primarily upon the children of battered women did not appear until later. The understanding of these children has changed since then. Recent research is both enlightening and encouraging. The potential to make a difference in the lives of these children has never been better.

Nurses can intervene with primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies. The interventions that follow are organized according to level of prevention and can be used by individual nurses in clinical settings. Primary prevention includes all interventions that prevent abuse of women and children or diminish their impact. Societal level interventions that decrease tolerance for violence in all settings reduce the risk to children of battered women. Most primary level interventions necessitate changes in public policies. However, individually, nurses must include detailed assessment of and empathetic discussions with family affected by violence as part of their routine practice.

The U.S. Surgeon General (1990) identified family violence as a serious public health problem. Yet, as a group, health professionals have not done all that is possible to alleviate this problem. To help children of battered women, nurses must first broach the subject of violence in families. Therefore, at a minimum, nurses need to ask every client and be prepared to listen ever so patiently and respond when family violence is found.

Routine assessment for safety should also include probing questions about firearms. Nurses should enquire about the presence of firearms in the home, and if they are present, they should find out how such firearms are stored. Nelson, Grant- Worley, Powell, Mercy, and Holtzman (1996) found that in Oregon alone 40,000 children lived in households with firearms which were either always or sometimes stored loaded and unlocked. The child should be asked if he or she knows anyone with a gun or sees guns at school. Wintemute (1996) noted the frequent association between gang membership and risk of firearm related injury. Children, especially school-aged children and adolescents, should be assessed routinely for gang involvement.

Literature on resilience in children suggests that, in the presence of challenging life events, a sense of self-efficacy and the help of supportive adults significantly contribute to positive outcomes. Children who are not experiencing successes in their lives and/or who lack contact with supportive adults may benefit from involvement in programs that address these areas. Girls and Boys Clubs, Big Sister and Big Brother programs, church youth groups, sports clubs, or other similar activities may provide children at risk with the opportunity to feel capable and connected outside their families. An informant related the importance of this type of support (Humphreys, 1996) “… they always encouraged me and said that I could do whatever I wanted to do and that I would be somebody. So this was always being affirmed all the time by so many people that is was something I accepted and I expected, It got to the point where I expect it and there was no less.”

The goals of secondary prevention are early diagnosis and intervention to prevent aggravation and recurrence. Battering of mothers has already occurred at the level of secondary prevention. Once woman abuse is discovered, nurses can help the children by offering to help and support the mother. Doing so helps to diminish the effects of violence upon the woman, decreasing the burden upon her and freeing her to help her children.

In every practice setting, health care providers should have specific information about available agencies and services for battered women. Typically, these agencies provide a variety of services and are well aware of the resources and means of access in the community. Health care providers should have those phone numbers readily available and share them with victim women.

Nurses must be prepared to listen to battered children. Children of battered women may be fearful and afraid of disclosing “secrets” in the family. Abuse of children themselves further complicates communication. This finding necessitates reporting in every state to the appropriate child protective service agency. To foster a trusting relationship when confidences cannot always be kept and are fragile, nurses must be forthright and honest about their role. They should convince both mother and child that anything they say will be kept confidential excepting where child abuse is suspected. Nurses can assure them that this is the only circumstance that would warrant sharing of what is told with an outsider. They should be informed that if it becomes necessary to tell outside agencies, they would always be advised beforehand. In addition, nurses should assure them that they would continue to work with the family even though other agencies may enter into to participate as well. The health and safety of both mother and children is the nurse’s primary interest. As one informant suggested (Humphreys, 1996): “Well as a child in terms of advice, I mean the first thing is just for a child to be able to talk about it. (Talking about it) would be the first step that would be hard to get to, to break through.”

Nurses should ask battered women and their children about their worries. Mothers and children should also be encouraged to talk with each other. In two separate studies, Humphreys (1991; 1995) described battered women and their children’s worries about each other. Although these worries and fears involved violence in the home, they also included other concerns that can be shared between mother and child and addressed with the help of the nurse. When asked what helped create order for their children out of chaos, battered women replied love and communication.

Battered women often make the decision to leave abusive relationships based upon perceptions that the abuse is having detrimental effects upon their children. Nurses can assure them that while some children who live in violent homes have problems, many more seem to be able to overcome these difficulties with requisite nurturing and support. A realistic discussion about the children can be initiated with the following questions:

  1. How are the children reacting?
  2. How well have they adapted to changes in their lives in the past?
  3. How are they doing in school?
  4. What are the children’s strengths?
  5. As and when they had difficulties in the past, how did you come of know of them?
  6. What helped them in those situations?
  7. What other people and activities do the children have in their lives?
  8. What do they enjoy, have fun doing, and find rewarding?

The intent here is not to imply blame but, rather to broaden the discussion about the violence, resources, coping strategies, and strengths in the family. The nurse’s interest ought to be in helping the battered woman and her children.

Great variability exists in the services provided by battered women’s shelters. Due to fiscal constraints some shelters can provide only direct assistance to women residents, offering only minimal child care or playroom opportunities. Other more fortunate shelters provide extensive children’s programs which include mother-child counseling, mothers’ groups, children’s groups, and individual treatment sessions. Ideally, shelters include educational, recreational, and therapeutic programs for mothers and children. Participation by nurses in shelters is generally wanted and needed. Developing nursing practice in battered women’s shelters has been documented elsewhere, as has been the use of shelters as clinical sites in nursing education. The potential for a mutually beneficial relationship between nursing programs and battered women’s shelters is substantial.

Nursing practice with battered women and their children in shelters encompasses both primary and acute care. The needs of these mothers and children are similar to those in the general population. However, in addition, some battered women and their children require support for resolving their traumatic injuries, interventions to alleviate pain and swelling, and advice on navigating the health care system as they grow in confidence and develop feelings of empowerment.

Tertiary prevention occurs when children of battered women experience irreversible effects from violence. The goal at this level is rehabilitation to maximum possible levels of functionality. Children exposed to violence need help for the trauma they have experienced. Interventions need to be intensive and long-term in nature. Peled and Edleson (1992) advocate for family work that involves all members; children, mothers, and fathers. Other children may benefit from both group and individual therapeutic relationships. Some kind of therapeutic relationship is particularly important in situations where legal disputes regarding visitation and/or custody are involved, as children may perceive that they are the cause of ongoing parental conflict.

The understanding of children of battered women and their responses to violence is developing. While some of these children manifest signs of distress, anxiety, and worry, others are able to overcome the deleterious effects of family violence with the help of inner resources, resilience and the support of caring people. This is even more remarkable given the enormous amount of violence both inside and outside homes. Nurses who care for battered women and their children must seek victims out, listen, and offer information, encouragement, and understanding.

A great deal has been reported on the impact of violence on children and families. The findings are grim; many professionals may be tempted to feel helpless and hopeless, mirroring the emotions parents feel. Research and clinical intervention efforts are, however, yielding valuable information about how to help children and families who are affected by violence. In general, caring professionals can help children and families who are affected by violence in several ways. A few among them can be listed below:

  1. Communicate a willingness to talk about the violence and to be an impartial listener carefully avoiding to pass hurried judgments at any stage. Children need to know that it is permissible to talk about violence. Sometimes caregivers may subtly discourage children from talking about violence in their lives. Reasons for this may include, it may be very upsetting to hear; caregivers may feel they do not have the answers, or they may believe that it will be less upsetting for the child if he or she does not talk about it. On the contrary, children often feel relieved and unburdened by sharing this information with trusted adults. It may also be useful, therapeutically, for children to review events, clarify misunderstandings, and air their fears by recounting the story about the violent event. Although it is inadvisable to coerce children to recollect or recount their stories; once they have brought it up, reassurance or validation is very helpful for children.
  2. Support families by helping them stabilize the environment for their children. Women who are in domestic violence situations need help finding safety and/or making safety plans. These women may be unable (both financially and emotionally) to leave the situation. Helping them think about a safety plan is important. A discussion about help and support for the children is also important. Women who have left their abusive partners need assistance with planning and with securing concrete services. It is also imperative to help these mothers think about how to broach and talk to their children about the decision to leave the abusive situation. Usually, the circumstances crowding a woman’s departure from her home are chaotic and possibly dangerous. Children may be very frightened and confused and often may not understand what is happening. Helping the mothers to be sensitive to their children’s perspectives at this juncture is vital but normally overlooked aspect.
  3. Remind parents that they are the most important emotional protectors for their children. Parents can do a much better job of psychologically reassuring their children when compared to any class of professionals. Research on children in World War II documented the importance of the parents’ role in helping children feel safe, even in the face of war and other trauma. Parents can help their children talk about their fears, reassure children that they (parents) will do whatever is possible to protect their children, and allow children to stay close by after frightening events. These interventions will be very helpful for children.

The fact that many children live with violence both in and out of the home has implications for schools, childcare centers, and community- based programs. It is no longer unusual in many urban areas for children to use circle time to talk about a violent incident in their neighborhood. Service providers express their discomfort with such revelations and their uncertainty about how much to let  the children talk and how to help these children. In general, teachers have been trained inadequately to meet the challenges of working with young children who have been exposed to violence.

Practitioners need training in the following areas:

  1. Understanding the effects of violence on children. Teachers need information about how to recognize children who are showing symptoms associated with exposure to violence.
  2. Effective intervention with these children. Teachers need information about how to use the classroom setting to intervene effectively with violence affected children. Teachers need to talk to children either individually or in groups about violence. Teachers need guidelines on appropriate timing for referring children for special help.
  3. Principles for establishing a nurturing classroom and teaching conflict resolution skills need to be understood by teachers. When children feel safe and nurtured in school, they are able to cope more effectively with stress which enhances their learning curves as well. It is also important to teach children alternatives to violence as a means of resolving problems. A burgeoning number of programs and curricula teach conflict-resolution skills to children. These programs encourage children to be aware of conflict and to develop positive methods of solving conflict. Teachers must themselves acquire skills in administering or participating effectively in such conflict-resolution programs.
  4. Honed skills must be gathered at recognizing and supporting resilience in children. A great deal has been written about the importance of recognizing and supporting resilience in children. These strategies to support children’s healthy adaptation and efforts to cope with adversity are important in working with children who are affected by violence.

In addition to training, teachers need ongoing support and supervision in their work. It is ironic that, in many instances, the schools with the highest numbers of children who are environmentally or psychologically at risk also are the schools with the most meager resources and the least amount of structured support for teachers. Working with children who are exposed to violence can be overwhelming for teachers. They may prefer avoidance and may even deny the realities of their students’ lives. Some of the issues children face may resonate with teachers’ personal experiences aggravating the avoidance syndrome.

Teachers, then, begin to mirror the same hopelessness and helplessness seen in the children. This perceived hopelessness leads to emotional numbing and burnout in teachers. To avoid this reaction, teachers must have regular support and supervision designed to help them think about intervention with specific children. This would tend to give them a place to talk about how this work affects them personally and reflect on the many intense feelings that may be stirred up when working with students at high risk.

In addition, all children need schools that are safe and nurturing. Schools can be a critical refuge for children who live with violence. Schools can provide training in conflict resolution skills and communicate clear values about the importance of non-violence. School administrators must set an environmental tone within schools that emphasizes respect, nurturing, and tolerance amongst and for all students.

Minnesota and West Virginia have responded to the general findings about parent-child bonding by adopting a primary caretaker preference. They have recognized that the continuity of care with the primary caretaker is not central and crucial to the best interest of the child; however, it is perhaps the single predictor of a child’s well being about which there is agreement, and which can be competently evaluated by judges.

The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act (UMDA) (Cahn, 1994) uses the best interest of the child standard. It does not mention the primary caretaker, but does not require that courts consider the child’s relationship with each parent. The primary caretaker factor is appropriate for the consideration. In Washington, a UMDA state that has not explicitly recognized the primary-caretaker preference, a trial court may give significant consideration to the child’s need for a warm and loving relationship and to each parent’s unique ability to fulfill that need.

As increasing numbers of studies begin to show the deleterious effects of exposure to violence on children, the legal system has been forced to change many of its former policies and practices in family law cases. Progress is being made at both the federal and state levels. However, many myths and stereotypes prove hard to dislodge. Federal acknowledgment of the detrimental effects of violence witnessed by children appeared as early as 1982, when the United States Civil Rights Commission concluded that children in spouse abuse situations suffer at least as much as other family members.

And in 1984, the United States Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence found that: “Violence in the home strikes at the heart of our society. Children who are abused, or who live in homes where parents are battered carry the terrible lessons of violence with them into adulthood. To tolerate family violence is to allow the seeds of violence to be sown into the next generation.” (Cahn, 1994)  As more studies have been completed and the empirical data compiled, the federal government has moved to further protect women and children exposed to violence.

Both Houses of the Second Session of the 101st Congress acted to protect children in custody litigation from further exposure to violence by unanimous passage of Concurrent Resolution 172 which stated its purpose as-expressing the sense of the Congress that for purposes of determining child custody, credible evidence of physical abuse of one’s spouse should create a statutory presumption that it is detrimental to the child to be placed in the custody of the abusive parent.

The provisions of the Resolution go on to state that courts have failed to recognized the effects of witnessing abuse on children, and have failed to consider the abuse in custody cases, taking note of existing bias against abused spouses in current custody trends such as joint custody and mediation. The Resolution acknowledges the relationship between spouse abuse and child abuse, and the actual and potential emotional and physical harm to children. In the same provision, the Resolution also takes note of the negative effect on children of inappropriate role modeling.

It is discussed within that, aside from the initial trauma, and damage to self-esteem, impairment of developmental and socialization skills are part of witnessing abuse, even where the abuse is not directed at them personally. Witnessing violence may have intergenerational consequences, warns the Resolution and may communicate to children that violence is an acceptable tool for resolving marital conflict. The Resolution intends to convince courts to consider evidence of physical abuse of a spouse in child custody cases.

The concerns and mandates of the Resolution have been mirrored in numerous state statutes which have recently been enacted and which will be discussed in the following section. Congress also passed the Immigration Act of 1990, which includes under Title VII, Miscellaneous Provisions, Section 701, a provision, which waives the joint petition requirement for conditional residence for battered women and children in immigration cases. The law would limit the ability of abusers, who are sponsors of immigrant women and children, to “blackmail” them by threats of impending deportation if they do not continue to submit to the abuse and continue to live in the family residence.

This provision would have been a great help to many battered immigrant women and their children. However, in the rulemaking procedure to implement the Act, the rule was written so stringently that only some immigrant-abused women will be helped by it. The rule requires that abused immigrant women prove by documentation that they or their children were battered or treated in an “extremely cruel” way by their husbands. They must prove extreme cruelty through an assessment of a licensed professional, and must submit proof that the assessor was licensed. Such obstacles would be practically impossible to overcome for most battered women.

The House and Senate have before them proposed federal legislation to offer relief to women in some areas of domestic violence in the form of Senate Bill 15, “To Combat Violence and Crimes Against Women on the Streets and in Homes,” (Cahn, 1994) and corresponding legislation in the House. Senate Bill 15, which would offer this relief, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, and is facing a floor vote this spring. Meanwhile, Representative Boxer’s version of the bill, H.R. 1502, is still in five committees of the House.

Fourteen states have adopted laws, which require consideration of a batterer’s violence as a factor in intra-family custody cases. Some states explicitly recognize that spousal abuse is detrimental to the children’s best interests. Some states have made it a presumption against an award of custody to the abuser. Some states make it a factor or presumption in only joint custody (e.g., Alaska, New Hampshire and Ohio). In some states where a civil order of protection has issued, the court must consider supervised visitation, or generally order that visitation arrangements protect the victim and the children. Two states make domestic violence a defense to a claim that the victim abandoned the child.

Language making domestic violence a factor in determining child custody has been added to existing custody statutes that differ in their structure. New Hampshire’s new law creates an exception to an existing presumption in favor of joint legal custody if domestic violence exists. Washington made violence against a spouse or a child part of a list of factors for consideration in determining post-divorce parenting responsibilities.

States have enacted three types of provisions that explicitly require consideration of domestic violence before joint custody can be awarded: under the first, and least protective of battered women, the state requires a court to consider spouse abuse as one factor in the joint custody decision. According to the second, the court must provide evidence that, notwithstanding the existence of abuse, joint custody is in the best interest of the child. Finally, under the third approach most protective to battered women, a court cannot award joint custody if there is evidence of abuse. The Alaska statute is an example of the first form of the legislation; it lists eight factors that must be considered by the court in deciding whether to award “shared custody.” (Cahn, 1994)  They include “any evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect in the proposed custodial household or a history of violence between the parents” (Cahn, 1994) as well as “friendly parent” (Cahn, 1994) provision. The Alaska statute is similar to the ABA’s Model Joint Custody Statute, which lists several factors to be considered in an award of joint custody, including the existence of domestic violence.

The impact of the statutes is not easy to assess. They may not always improve the likelihood of domestic violence evidence being admitted at trial. However, the case law interpreting these provisions has, in most states, been largely favorable to battered women. Further, a growing body of case law makes evidence of spousal abuse admissible in custody determinations, regardless of whether the children witnessed or were old enough to be aware or comprehend the violence.

In contexts other than parental custody disputes, courts have similarly held that a batterer’s violence-usually after he has murdered the spouse-has rendered him unfit to exercise parental control over the children. Often courts do so only to the extent of analyzing the impact of the act on the abuser’s parenting abilities. In a case of first impression the West Virginia Supreme Court held that a child who witnesses the father’s verbal abuse and physical abuse of the mother has a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress and even absent physical injury to him. On the balance it would appear that the trial courts are gradually recognizing that domestic abuse is harmful to children. However, there remains considerable resistance. While the findings attempt to excuse or justify (father’s) assault on (mother), neither this court nor any other court can excuse or justify or approve intra-family violence or spouse abuse. An assault is equally serious and equally incriminating whether committed between family members or between strangers.

Iowa law provides that a court should award custody in a way that provides maximum contact between the parents and the child unless “direct physical harm” (Cahn, 1994) or “significant emotional harm” (Cahn, 1994) would result for a parent or a child. The law requires the court to give “primary consideration” (Cahn, 1994) to parent and child safety when awarding custody and visitation under an order of protection. “If the court finds that the safety of the victim or the children will be jeopardized by unsupervised or restricted visitation, the court shall condition or restrict visitation as to time, place, duration, or supervision, or deny visitation entirely, as needed to guard the safety of the victim and the children. The court shall also investigate whether any other existing orders awarding custody or visitation rights should be modified.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law in Kentucky makes “information, records, and evidence of domestic violence a relevant factor to be considered in custody determinations between each parent.” (Cahn, 1994) The law clearly states: “The court shall not consider conduct of a proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship to the child. If domestic violence and abuse is alleged, the court shall determine the extent to which the domestic violence and abuse has affected the child and the child’s relationship to both parents. If domestic violence and abuse has been alleged, the court shall, after a hearing, determine the visitation arrangement, if any, which would not endanger seriously the child’s or the custodial parent’s physical, mental, or emotional health.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law’s governing custody modifications, states: “In determining whether a child’s present environment may endanger seriously his physical, mental, moral, or emotional health, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to: If domestic violence and abuse is found by the court to exist, the extent to which the domestic violence and abuse has affected the child and the child’s relationship to both parents.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law in Louisiana states:

  1. There is a created presumption that no parent who has a history of perpetrating family violence shall be awarded sole or joint custody of children. The presumption shall be overcome only by a preponderance of the evidence that the perpetrating parent has successfully completed a treatment program as defined herein, is not abusing alcohol and the illegal use of drugs, and that the best interest of the child or children requires that parent’s participation as a custodial parent because of the other parent’s absence, mental illness or substance abuse, or such other circumstances which affect the best interest of the child or children. The fact that the abused parent suffers from the effects of the abuse shall not be grounds for denying that parent custody.
  2. If the court finds that both parents have a history of perpetrating family violence, custody shall be awarded solely to the parent who is less likely to continue to perpetrate family violence. In such a case, the court shall mandate completion of a treatment program by the custodial parent. If necessary to protect the welfare of the child, custody may be awarded to a suitable third person, provided that the person would not allow access to a violent parent except as ordered by the court.
  3. If the court finds that a parent has a history of family violence, the court shall only allow supervised child visitation with that parent, conditioned upon that parent’s participation in and completion of a treatment program. Unsupervised visitation shall only be allowed if shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the violent parent has successfully completed a treatment program, is not abusing alcohol and psychoactive drugs, poses no danger to the child, and that such visitation is in the child’s best interest.
  4. If any court finds that a parent has sexually abused his or her child or children, the court shall prohibit all visitation and contact between the abusive parent and the children, until such time, following a contradictory hearing, that the court finds that the abusive parent has successfully completed a treatment program designed for such sexual abusers, and that supervised visitation is in the children’s best interest. Any testimony by a licensed mental health professional with training, experience, and expertise in treating sexual abuse victims, who is also the therapist for the abused child, shall be given greater weight by the court then any other testimony on issues of visitation.

The law defines “supervised visitation” (Cahn, 1994) as a “face to face contact between a parent and a child which occurs in the immediate presence of a supervising person approved by the court under conditions which prevent any physical abuse, threats, intimidation, abduction, or humiliation of either the abused parent or the child. The supervising person shall not be any relative, friend, therapist, or associate of the parent perpetrating family violence. With the consent of the abused parent, the supervising person may be a family member or friend of the abused parent. At the request of the abused parent, the court may order that the supervising person shall be a police officer or other competent professional. The parent who perpetrated family violence shall pay any and all costs incurred in the supervision of visitation. In no case shall supervised visitation be overnight, or in the home of the violent parent.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law defines “treatment program” (Cahn, 1994) to mean “a course of evaluation and psychotherapy designed specifically for perpetrators of family violence, and conducted by licensed mental health professionals.” (Cahn, 1994) The law provides that any violation of an injunction “shall result in a termination of all court ordered visitation.”  The law further states that “whenever a parent is under a criminal bill of information or indictment for any crime against the person of a child or other parent, the court, on the motion of the state or other parent, shall prohibit all contact between the billed or indicted parent and the other spouse and all children of the family. Supervised visitation may be reinstated if, upon a contradictory hearing initiated by a motion of the billed or indicted parent, the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child.” (Cahn, 1994)

Maine’s Public Law makes “(t) he existence of a history of domestic abuse between the parents” (Cahn, 1994) a factor in custody decisions.

Maryland law provides: “In a custody or visitation proceeding, the court may consider as a factor bearing on the welfare and best interests of the child, evidence of abuse by a parent against:

  1. the other parent of the party’s child;
  2. the party’s spouse; or
  3. any child residing within the party’s household, including a child other than the child whom is the subject of the custody or visitation preceding.” (Cahn, 1994)

Abuse includes any “act that causes serious bodily harm” (or) “places another in fear of imminent serious bodily harm” (Cahn, 1994), according to the law. The law allows the court in a domestic violence case to “establish temporary visitation with a minor child of the respondent and a person eligible for relief on a basis which gives primary consideration to the welfare of the minor child and the safety of any other person eligible for relief. If the court finds that the safety of a person eligible for relief will be jeopardized by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation, the court shall condition or restrict visitation as to time, place, duration or supervision, or deny visitation entirely, as needed to guard the safety of any person eligible for relief,” (Cahn, 1994) which includes a child or stepchild of either party who resides with one of them for at least 90 days within the year before the filing of the petition.

Massachusetts law provides: “In determining whether temporary shared legal custody would not be in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider all relevant facts including, but not limited to, whether any member of the family has been the perpetrator of domestic violence, abuses alcohol or other drugs or has deserted the child and whether the parties have a history of being able and willing to cooperate in matters concerning the child. If, despite the prior of current issuance of a restraining order against one parent pursuant to chapter two hundred and nine A, the court orders shared legal or physical custody either as a temporary order or at a trial on the merits, the court shall provide written findings to support such shared custody order.” (Cahn, 1994)

Michigan law allows the court to consider “(t)he reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise of visitation” as a factor “when determining the frequency, duration, and type of visitation to be granted.” (Cahn, 1994) The law makes “(t)he threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent” another factor, but specifically adds that “(a) custodial parent’s temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence of the custodial parent’ s intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent.” (Cahn, 1994)

Minnesota has passed revisions to its custody law, which provide for consideration of the effect of the abuser’s actions on the child, among other factors. In addition, the law provides that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that joint legal custody is not in the best interests of the child if domestic abuse has occurred between the parties. The law also provides that a person convicted of certain crimes has the burden of proving that his/her custody or visitation is in the best interest of the child. If the victim of the crime is a family or household member, the standard of proof is clear and convincing evidence. The crimes include murder, assault, kidnapping, prostitution, criminal sexual conduct, incest, child neglect, and custodian interference.

Missouri law states: “In making an award of custody the court shall consider all relevant factors including the presumption that the best interests of the child will be served by placing the child in the custody and care of the non-abusive parent, unless there is evidence that both parents have engaged in abusive behavior in which case the court shall not consider this presumption but shall consider all other factors… .” (Cahn, 1994)  The law also says: “The court shall grant to the non-custodial parent rights to visitation with any minor child … unless the court finds after hearing … that no visitation can be arranged which would sufficiently protect the custodial parent from further abuse.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law makes “physical abuse or threat of physical abuse by one parent against the other parent or the child” (Cahn, 1994) a factor in the best interests determination. The law also established a procedure whereby a child’s parent or guardian may file an objection with the court to the custody or visitation rights of the other parent if that parent has been convicted of certain sex-related offenses, domestic abuse, or deliberate homicide. The non-custodial parent then has the burden of proving that the visitation does not seriously endanger the child’s morale, mental, or physical health.

Nebraska law provides: “In determining custody arrangements and the time to be spent with each parent, the court shall consider the best interests of the minor child which shall include, but not be limited to: …Credible evidence of abuse inflicted on any family or household member. For purposes of this subdivision, abuse and family or household member shall have the meanings prescribed by law. In determining with which of the parents the children or any of them shall remain, the court shall consider the best interests of the children which shall include, but not be limited to: …Credible evidence of abuse inflicted on any family or household member.” (Cahn, 1994)

Nevada law states: “In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider, among other things:… Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.” (Cahn, 1994)

New Hampshire law requires that when a court finds that abuse as defined in the New Hampshire chapter on Protection of Persons: Domestic Violence “has occurred, the court shall consider such abuse as harmful to children and as evidence in determining whether joint custody is appropriate. In such cases, the court shall make custody and visitation orders that best protect the children or the abused spouse or both. If joint legal custody is granted despite evidence of abuse, the court shall provide written findings to support the custody order.” (Cahn, 1994)

New Jersey law provides that the court shall consider, among other factors, “the history of domestic violence, if any; the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent… .” (Cahn, 1994) In addition, the law provides that the court shall specifically place on the record the factors, which justify any custody arrangement, not agreed to by both parties. In making an award of custody, the court shall consider but not limit itself to the following factors: “… the history of domestic abuse, if any; the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent:… . A parent shall not be deemed unfit unless the parents’ conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the child.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law further states that a “court shall grant any relief necessary to prevent further abuse” (Cahn, 1994) which may include any or all of the following:

  • An order awarding temporary custody of a minor child. The court shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent;
  • An order providing for visitation. The order shall protect the safety and well being of the plaintiff and minor children and shall specify the place and frequency of visitation. Visitation arrangements shall not compromise any other remedy provided by the court by requiring or encouraging contact between the plaintiff and defendant. Orders for visitation may include a designation of a place of visitation away from the plaintiff, the participation of a third party, or supervised visitation.
  • The court shall consider a request by the plaintiff for an investigation or evaluation by the appropriate agency to assess the risk of harm to the child prior to the entry of a visitation order. Any denial of such a request must be on the record and shall only be made if the judge finds the request to be arbitrary or capricious.
  • The court shall consider suspension of the visitation order and hold an emergent hearing upon an application made by the plaintiff certifying under oath that the defendant’s access to the child pursuant to the visitation order has threatened the safety and well being of the child.

North Dakota law states: “In awarding custody of granting rights of visitation, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence. If the court finds credible evidence that domestic violence has occurred, this evidence shall create the rebuttable presumption that awarding custody or granting visitation to the abusive party is not in the best interests of the child. The court shall furthermore give direction for the custody of children of the marriage and grant rights of visitation in a manner that best protects the children and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm… . The court also shall consider the interaction and interrelationship, or the potential for interaction and interrelationship, of the child with any person who resides in, is present, or frequents the household of a parent, and who may significantly affect the child’s best interests. The court shall consider that person’s history of inflicting, or tendency to inflict, physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, on other person.” (Cahn, 1994)

The law also requires that a court finds that domestic violence occurred to “cite specific findings of fact to show that the custody or visitation arrangement best protects the child and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm.” (Cahn, 1994)

Ohio law states: “In determining whether shared parenting is in the best interest of the children the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, other domestic violence, or parental kidnapping by either parent.” (Cahn, 1994)

Oklahoma law provides: “In every case involving the custody of, guardianship of or visitation with a child, the court shall consider evidence of ongoing domestic abuse which is properly brought before it. If the occurrence of ongoing domestic abuse is established by clear and convincing evidence, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests of the child to have custody, guardianship or unsupervised visitation granted to the abusive person.” (Cahn, 1994)

Oregon law makes the abuse of one parent by the other a factor in the best interests determination.

Pennsylvania law provides that in making custody, partial custody or visitation orders the court shall consider “each parent and adult household member’s present and past violent or abusive conduct which may include, but is not limited to, abusive conduct as defined under Protection From Abuse Act.” (Cahn, 1994)

Rhode Island law provides that the court, when making decisions regarding child custody and visitation, shall consider evidence of past or present domestic violence, if proven, as a factor not in the best interest of the child. Moreover, where domestic violence is proven, any award of joint custody or any grant of visitation shall be arranged so as to best protect the child and the abused parent from further harm.

Domestic violence means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between spouses or people who have a child in common:

  • Attempting to cause or actually causing physical harm;
  • Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
  • Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force or duress.

The law creates an affirmative defense to the felony child-snatching law for custodial parents fleeing an incidence or pattern of domestic violence.

Texas law makes domestic violence occurring in the previous two years relevant in determining who will be the child’s conservator (custodian). The law also precludes joint managing conservatorship (equivalent to joint legal custody) if there is credible evidence of a “history or pattern” (Cahn, 1994) of physical abuse of a parent or child.

Vermont law provides that when making a parental rights and responsibilities order, the court shall consider “the ability and disposition of each parent to foster positive relationship and frequent and continuing contact with the other parent, including physical contact, except where contact will result in harm to the child or to a parent.”

Virginia law requires a judge to “consider any history of family abuse” (Cahn, 1994) in any case or proceeding involving custody or visitation.

Washington law requires a court to limit an abusive parent’s rights under a parenting plan if there is a history of domestic violence, or a single incident, which rises to the level of a felony; unless the court determines that no harm will occur to the child.

West Virginia law states that the terms of protection orders may include: “Establishing visitation rights with regard to the minor children and requiring third party supervision of visitations if necessary to protect the petitioner and/or the minor children.” (Cahn, 1994)

Wisconsin law states with regard to the granting of joint legal custody over one party’s objection that “evidence of interspousal battery or domestic abuse creates a rebuttable presumption that the parties will not be able to cooperate in the future decision making required. This presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence that the abuse will not interfere with the parties’ ability to cooperate in the future decision-making required.” (Cahn, 1994) The law requires the court to consider as a factor “whether there is evidence of interspousal battery or domestic abuse in making legal custody and physical placement decisions.” (Cahn, 1994)

Wyoming law provides that in granting a divorce, annulment or modification: “The court shall consider evidence of spouse abuse or child abuse as being contrary to the best interest of the child. If the court finds that family violence has occurred, the court shall make arrangements for visitation that best protect the child and the abused spouse from further harm.” (Cahn, 1994) The law also provides the same for orders during the pendency of a divorce. The law further states: “If there is issue of a marriage annulled on the ground of force or fraud, the court shall award their custody to the innocent person, and may also provide for their education and maintenance out of the estate and property of the guilty party.” (Note: `Issue’ here means children.) (Cahn, 1994)

The judicial system is not in this alone. Nor does the complete solution to the problem of family violence lie within the judicial system. Family violence has been around for a very long time. Our efforts to put an end to it are embryonic. Yet they are already making a difference. The court does play an important role in molding community values. Ultimately, the solution lies in shaping a society, which chooses to be non-violent, just, and free of oppression. It is appropriate that the justice system and the judiciary take a leadership role in promoting those kinds of social values. Implementation of following recommended practices in family violence cases will cause radical social change far beyond the courtroom.

  1. Judges should not issue mutual protective or restraining orders.
  2. When the issue of family violence is found to exist in the context of a dissolution of marriage, domestic relations case of any kind, or in a juvenile court case:
  3. a) The violent conduct should be weighed and considered in making custody and visitation orders;
  4. b) Judges should be aware that there might be an unequal balance of power or bargaining capabilities of the parties, which calls for a more careful review of the custody and financial agreements before the court puts its seal on them.
  5. c) Judges should not presume that joint custody is in the best interest of the children.
  6. Where a custodial parent removes a child from the jurisdiction of the court, judges should:
  7. Issue a warrant for the fleeing parent;
  8. Ensure that there is an adequate investigation as to whether family violence had any impact on the flight;
  9. Not change underlying child custody orders until such investigation is complete;
  10. Put into place orders to protect the children until final resolution.
  11. Judges should not mandate mediation in cases where family violence has occurred.

Gender bias task force reports have shown that gender bias permeates the legal system, affecting women as judges, as attorneys, as witnesses, and as litigants. The New York Task Force on Women in the Courts found that many judges appear not to understand the nature of domestic violence and the characteristics of offenders and victims. As a result many fail to credit petitioners’ claims of victimization. In particular the Task Force found that courts often disregard the father’s violence against the mother in custody disputes. In addition, it found that some judges seem to be unaware of or underestimate the harm to children associated with the abuse of the mother.

Both state legislatures and courts are beginning to recognize the relationship between child custody and domestic violence. They have integrated child custody into special proceedings established to protect women from abuse. They have also woven consideration of domestic violence into more traditional custody actions, involving both joint custody and sole custody awards. In the past 15 years, ten states and the District of Columbia have enacted some type of legislation linking the two issues in traditional custody actions. Courts in at least ten other states have recognized that domestic violence should affect child custody determinations.

Different state courts and legislatures, however, have adopted various approaches when a family with domestic violence dissolves. Some states have enacted statutes requiring domestic violence to be one factor in custodial decisions after the parents separate. Even when such statutes do not exist, some courts admit evidence of domestic violence in custody determinations. Similarly, in termination of parental rights proceedings, evidence of spouse abuse may be relevant in deciding whether a parent can provide for the child. Nonetheless, in light of the treatment accorded to domestic violence cases, states have not responded adequately to the need for protection of victims of domestic violence victims in custody proceedings.

Existing state legislative actions recognizing the relationship between parental violence and custody can be divided into three categories:

  • statutes requiring courts to consider domestic violence before joint custody is awarded;
  • statutes adding domestic violence as a factor to the sole custody/best interests of the child standard; and
  • statutes directing that domestic violence influence other decisions such as whether a parent has abandoned her children by fleeing domestic violence.

None of these statutes prevent an abusive father, even one who has killed his spouse/partner, from winning a custody battle against the mother or a third party, such as the grandparents/relatives and friends.

State court decisions which consider domestic violence in the absence of any enabling legislation requiring them to do so have involved disputes between the natural parents as well as disputes between the father and a third party, which often arise when the father has killed the mother. Some courts have considered evidence of domestic violence as another factor comprising the best interest of the child. Like the legislative responses, court decisions have developed within the framework of the best interest of the child standard, modifying the standard to take into account domestic violence between the parents.

Joint custody is a dangerous arrangement where there has been spouse abuse. Successful joint custody requires continuing contact between the parents. A battered woman generally wants the abuser to stay away, but joint custody precludes separation because the parents must transfer children back and forth and participate jointly in decision-making. This ongoing communication provides excessive, yet legally required, opportunities for the batterer to continue his abuse.

In states that have a statutory preference for joint custody or for custody awards to the parent who is more willing to share the child, the battered woman must accede to joint custody or risk losing custody. If she appears to the court unwilling to share the child with the batterer, a court may give custody to the father instead.

In recognition of the specific problems of battered women, at least some states have modified their statutory standards for joint custody. Just as states have adopted different presumptions concerning joint custody itself, they have adopted different approaches to the inclusion of domestic violence as a factor in joint custody decisions. Three types of statutes explicitly require consideration of domestic violence before joint custody can be awarded. Under the first, and least protective of battered women, a court must consider abuse as one factor in the joint custody decision. According to the second type of statute, the court must have evidence that joint custody is in the best interest of the child notwithstanding the existence of abuse. Finally, under the approach most protective of battered women, a court cannot award joint custody if evidence of abuse exists.

Joint custody is predicated on the acknowledgement that parents must cooperate with one another. When there has been abuse, however, the victim can only cooperate with the abuser under duress.(197) A presumption of joint custody without a concomitant requirement that there be no joint custody upon evidence of spouse abuse ignores the situation of battered women. Redress through a prohibition of joint custody when there is evidence of abuse helps women who can prove domestic violence, but for women who are unable to produce evidence that meets burden of proof requirements, or women who do not want to come forward in court with such evidence, there is no redress. While joint custody encourages the rhetoric, at least, of equal participation by both parents, in reality it may hinder abused women seeking custody.

Requiring an abusive father and his victim to make joint decisions about their children necessarily continues the exposure of the children to their parents’ bad relationship, and may promote intergenerational messages condoning abuse. A friendly parent provision in the law exacerbates the situation because it gives the batterer additional power-a woman who does not want contact between her children and the battering spouse cannot so inform the court, lest she seem uncooperative or “unfriendly.” (Cahn, 1994) Moreover, this provision presents an apparent conflict with statutory provisions that require courts to consider spouse abuse in their child custody decisions. If, in a state with a friendly parent provision, a woman claims she has been abused but cannot prove the existence of abuse to the satisfaction of the judge, the mere fact that she has made the allegation will make her appear even less cooperative. Therefore, given her unfriendly attitude, she is even less likely to get custody.

Like joint custody statutes, best interest of the child statutes are being modified in some states to require courts to consider evidence of abuse in their custody decisions. Modifications to these statutes typically add another factor for the court to consider when determining the best interest of the child; the statutes differ slightly in their phrasing and in whether consideration of all of the listed factors is mandatory or discretionary.

Some states that do not set out specific factors to be used in determining the child’s best interest nonetheless provide that a court must consider domestic violence. Amended its custody statute in 1989 to require a court to “consider evidence of spouse abuse or child abuse as being contrary to the best interest of the child.” (Cahn, 1994) If the court finds that family violence has occurred, the court shall make arrangements for visitation that best protect the child and the abused spouse from further harm. Finally, some states have adopted other measures in respect of domestic violence and custody.

While the sole custody/best interest of the child standard avoids many of the problems inherent in joint custody, there is no required cooperation between the parents and simple inclusion of domestic violence as one factor to be considered in a custody decision is not an adequate solution. Courts are free to give as much-or as little-consideration to the enumerated factors as they choose. No particular factor outweighs another, so an abusive parent could receive unrestricted visitation based on the court’s perceived need of the child to have extensive contact with both parents.

Judges have broad discretion in custody cases to weigh the statutory factors based on their perceptions of the family. Appellate courts generally do not disturb child custody decisions made by trial courts; absent a finding that the trial court has abused its discretion or the awards is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence. Appellate courts assume trial courts have the best opportunity to assess credibility and determine the needs of the children. Therefore, different judges treat domestic violence inconsistently and do not accord sufficient attention in custody decisions to the effects of domestic violence on children.

Under best interest of the child statutes, trial courts have discretion to decide the weight to accord to domestic violence factor in custody decisions. The resulting opinions have differed dramatically in their handling of evidence of domestic violence. Some courts find its effect on children so deleterious that custody is awarded to the victim, while others dismiss its impact. When the abuser has killed the mother, courts may ignore the violence between the parents, directing focus away from the crime to whether the imprisoned parent can continue to care for the child. Courts are still uncomfortable terminating parental rights because of the abuse.

While it is important for trial courts to retain their discretion to decide cases on the facts presented, there needs to be a standard indicating how domestic violence should affect the decision. The discussion below begins with an analysis of cases in which courts dismissed the relevance of domestic violence. It then explores cases that illustrate the contrast in approaches chosen by state courts, which have considered evidence of domestic violence.

In the vast majority of cases, domestic violence is either deemed irrelevant to custody decisions or is not taken seriously. The idea that battering is unrelated to parenting is incredulous; by contrast, it is, for example, virtually accepted that drug or alcohol abuse by a parent is an important, if not critical, consideration in a custody decision. Research shows that woman battering has an impact on children. Thus, these effects must be considered when courts decide child custody.

Some courts have explicitly held that domestic violence is a major concern in custody and visitation decisions. These courts appear to view domestic violence as a significant, if not controlling, factor in the custody decision. The courts admitted evidence of domestic violence and deemed it highly relevant to both custody and visitation decisions. Other courts have not relied solely on domestic violence, but have acknowledged that it is one of several factors bearing on the best interest of the child that might lead to the denial of custody to a parent

For many reasons, domestic violence is a difficult issue for judges to handle. At an evidentiary level, there is rarely corroborating evidence because domestic violence usually occurs inside the home-it is the word of the victim against that of the abuser. Just as in simple rape cases (although custody actions are not subject to a criminal burden of proof), it appears that the woman needs some additional evidence to be persuasive, such as the existence of force. Moreover, for judges accustomed to examining circumstances that pertain only to the child’s awareness of certain factors, violence between the parents is a novel factor in the custody equation, requiring the court to examine the marital relationship.

Pervasive stereotypes about domestic violence underlie the need for corroboration and the reluctance to consider marital violence. These, in turn, result in both a failure to understand domestic violence and a minimization of evidence of domestic violence. There are long held stereotypes about battering, such as the sanctity of marriage and the images of the battered woman, and these stereotypes influence judicial decision-making. Expert testimony can help overcome and resolve these stereotypes.

In criminal cases to help courts comprehend the circumstances and behavior of the victim, the battered women’s movement has succeeded in persuading some courts and legislatures to recognize that jurors need expert testimony on the effects of battering in order to understand the actions of battered women. It is only recently, however, that such a movement is beginning to affect civil actions outside order of protection proceedings. This expert testimony describes both the effect of domestic violence on women and its impact on children.

Even familiarity with this expert testimony, however, does not ensure a full picture of the victim. While expert testimony enables courts to begin to appreciate the situation of battered women and their children, the cases “resound with the very sex-stereotypes of female incapacity which women’s self-defense work has sought to overcome. “This may be a result of having “emphasized the victimized, passive, helpless aspects of the battered women’s experience in order to counteract the disabling stereotypes that solely blame her for the violence.” (Cahn, 1994) The corresponding legal image of battered women is one of passive victims to be helped, rather than fully capable women who have been temporarily affected by the violence against them.

This legal image may exist because there is a tendency to distort “complex, fully nuanced statements (especially statements of positions that people do not really want to face)” (Cahn, 1994) and simplify them. This simplification occurs whenever domestic violence is injected into the law. It truly is difficult to understand both why a man batters and why a woman does not leave, unless we also confront additional issues of gender discrimination inside and outside the family. Full consideration of domestic violence requires taking women’s experiences seriously, and attempting to understand the complicated reality of the battered family. This does not mean merely listening carefully and developing one battered woman norm to broad brush the experiences of all battered woman. It does, however, entail uncovering the context of the lives of individual battered women and examining their realities.

Given both the present day state of the law and its implementation, litigators have adopted strategies to prevent abusers from receiving custody and to restrict the visitation rights of the abusive parent in order to protect the children as well as the other parent. According to one commentator, “(t)he most important issues to raise in a specific case are demonstrable emotional and physical symptoms, including psychosomatic symptoms of the child, fear of the violent parent, and the likelihood of continued violence by that parent.” (Cahn, 1994) Nonetheless, it is unlikely under current standards that the abusive parent will be denied visitation or even required to have supervised visitation.

There are underlying problems with combining the issues of domestic violence and child custody. First, there is no presumption in custody statutes that battering is not in the best interest of the child. To change this requires a broader appreciation of the impact of domestic violence on children. This will entail using a parent’s past behavior as a basis for making custody decisions and recognizing that past abuse demonstrates, at the least, insensitivity to the child and an indication of future actions. Second, and more important, we need to reexamine and reformulate our images of the battered woman in an effort both to understand and accept her, and to question our bizarre tolerance of the abuser’s behavior.

To some extent, these changes have already occurred in civil domestic violence statutes that link the two issues and allow courts to award custody as part of the protection accorded to the battered women. Because these statutes have resulted from initiatives by battered women’s advocates, they are more responsive than other statutes to the actual situation of battering. The insights provided by these statutes need to be integrated into the more traditional child custody decisions.

Domestic violence in traditional child custody decisions, however, has become a random factor. It is examined by some courts and dismissed by others, even where there is a statutory requirement that the judge consider domestic violence before making a custody award. Currently, it is the individual woman who must raise the issue of domestic violence. There is no widespread recognition of the incidence of violence or of the pressures facing individual women who, intimidated by the batterer and the legal system, may keep evidence of violence out of the courtroom. The goal should be adequate analysis of domestic violence and its impact on the child in each individual case, which there has been abuse. As public attitudes toward domestic violence change, so too will legal approaches. Similarly, as attitudes expressed by the law change, so too should social behavior. The expressive nature of the law should not be underestimated.

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Appendix A

All figures in tables are in number. Those in brackets indicate (%of total in category).

Table 1
Ethnic background of the Respondents
Whites(6 boys)(7 girls) 13
Others(Ethnic)(11 boys)(6 girls) 17
Table 2 Age profiles of the Respondents
Age Range
6-8 years 8
9-11years 10
12-14 years 12
Table 3 Residency of Respondents & Response to presence of Domestic Violence
Residency of Respondents Respondents saying ‘no’ to domestic violence Respondents saying ‘yes’ to domestic violence
Apartments 11 10(90%) 1(10%)
Ghetto 12 2(17%) 10(83%)
Shelters 07 0(0%) 07(100%)
Table 4- Frequency of Domestic violence
Frequency of Domestic violenceà Acceptable-Once a month Above acceptable-twice or more in a month
Residency of Respondents
Apartments 01(100%) 0(0%)
Ghetto 02(20%) 08(80%)
Shelters 0(0%) 07(100%)
Table 5- Loss of Schooling in Last one year of Children frequently affected by Domestic Violence
Loss of Schooling in Last one year à Acceptable-of less than  a month Above acceptable- more than a month
Residency of Respondents
Ghetto 02(25%) 06(75%)
Shelters 0(0%) 07(100%)
Table 6 -Crime profile of Children frequently affected by Domestic Violence
Frequency of Incidence of Crimeà Crime Free Less than 3 crimes in last one year Above 3 crimes in last one year
Residency of Respondents
Ghetto 00(0%) 04(50%) 04(50%)
Shelters 05(70%) 02(30%) 00(0%)
Table 7- Gang Membership of Children frequently affected by Domestic Violence
Gang Membership responseà Yes No
Residency of Respondents
Ghetto 06(75%) 02(25%)
Shelters 02(30%) 05(70%)
Table 8- Primary Responsibility in Violence in the Eyes of Children frequently affected by Domestic Violence
Primary Responsibility in Violence in the Eyes of Children à Father/Partner Mother
Residency of Respondents
Ghetto 07(88%) 01(12%)
Shelters 07(100%) 00(00%)
Table 9 Age wise recollection of frequent incidents of domestic violence
Age Range Poor recollection Clear recollection
6-8 years 3 1
9-11years 2 2
12-14 years 1 6
Table 10-Incidence of Abuse of Children frequently affected by Domestic Violence
Response to Abuseà Yes No
Residency of


Ghetto 04(50%) 04(50%)
Shelters 07(100%) 00(00%)


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If you were to write a paper on the red scare of the 1920s, on which person might you focus your thesis? a. attorney general mitchell palmerb. president woodrow wilsonc. president calvin coolidged. interior secretary albert fall


The Best Answer.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
A cartel formed
Six-Day War…Yom Kippur War(RN), , This was a war fought by Israel and neighboring Arab nations where the Arabs launched a surprise attack during Yom Kippur. U.S. support for Israel during the war led to OPEC boycotting the U.S., creating an energy crisis.Rachel Carson…Silent Spring…Earth Day…EPAEnvironmental Protection AgencyClean Air Act1970- law that established national standards for states, strict auto emissions guidelines, and regulations, which set air pollution standardds for private industryEndangered Species Act(1973) identifies threatened and endangered species in the U.S., and puts their protection ahead of economic considerationsThree Mile Island…New Federalism…Stagflation…Deindustrialization…Rust Belt…Tax Revolt…Watergate…CREEPRichard Nixon’s committee for re-electing the president. Found to have been engaged in a “dirty tricks” campaign against the democrats in 1972. They raised tens of millions of dollars in campaign funds using unethical means. They were involved in the infamous Watergate cover-up.John MitchellNixon’s first attorney general and his close friend and adviser; many people believe he ordered the Watergate break-in. He participated in the cover-up and served nineteen months in prison for his roleWoodward & BernsteinWhich reporters uncovered Watergate and ushered in an explosion of investigative reporting in the United States in the 1970s?Executive PrivilegeAn implied presidential power that allows the president to refuse to disclose information regarding confidential conversations or national security to Congress or the judiciary.US v NixonThe Supreme Court does have the final voice in determining constitutional questions; no person, not even the President of the United States, is completely above law; and the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence that is ‘demonstrably relevant in a criminal trialSpiro AgnewNixon’s vice-president resigned and pleaded “no contest” to charges of tax evasion on payments made to him when he was governor of Maryland. He was replaced by Gerald R. Ford.Gerald Ford(1974-1977), Solely elected by a vote from Congress. He pardoned Nixon of all crimes that he may have committed. Evacuated nearly 500,000 Americans and South Vietnamese from Vietnam, closing the war. We are heading toward rapid inflation. He runs again and debates Jimmy Carter. At the debate he is asked how he would handle the communists in eastern Europe and he said there were none and this apparently sealed his fate.War Powers Act…Freedom of Information Act…Jimmy Carter(1977-1981), Created the Department of Energy and the Depatment of Education. He was criticized for his return of the Panama Canal Zone, and because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, he enacted an embargo on grain shipments to USSR and boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and his last year in office was marked by the takeover of the American embassy in Iran, fuel shortages, and the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, which caused him to lose to Ronald Regan in the next election.Iranian Hostage CrisisIn 1979, Iranian fundamentalists seized the American embassy in Tehran and held fifty-three American diplomats hostage for over a year; weakened Carter’s presidency; hostages released on Reagan’s inauguration.Camp David Accords…Salt IIStrategic Arms Limitation Treaty agreement between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and American president Jimmy Carter. Despite an accord to limit weapons between the two leaders, the agreement was ultimately scuttled in the U.S. Senate following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.Affirmative Action…Bakke v University of California…ERA…Phyllis Schlafly1970s; a new right activist that protested the women’s rights acts and movements as defying tradition and natural gender division of labor; demonstrated conservative backlash against the 60sSTOP ERA…Roe v Wade…Harvey Milk1st openly gay politician in Calif.; one of only a very few in the US at the time. Assassinated while in office; Helped to erase the stigma of being openly homosexual.An American FamilyA television show that documented a middle-class white family coping with the stresses of a changing society, captured a Trumatic moment in the 20th century history of the family. Between 1965 and 1985, the divorce rate doubled, and children born in the 1970s had a 40% chance of spending part of their youth in a single-parent householdSexual RevolutionA social outlook that challenges traditional codes of behaviour related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships. The phenomenon took place throughout the Western world from the 1960s into the 1970s.Evangelicalism.


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Security in Electronic Online Banking Thesis Paper Example


Online banking allows the customers to make all the financial transactions easily and on the secure website operated through their banks. All the banks in the world facilitate their customers with the e-banking transactions. With the advancement in the technology and expansion of the globalization, the banks have to launch the new feature to increase their customer base, reduce their cost and to improve their financial services. There are many threats which the banks are faced, the hackers can get access to the information and data of the users (Choubey & Choubey, 2013).

Every security system in the world has its weakness and strength. There is always a threat to the security system of the bank or any other organization. The reason behind this is that criminals have equipped themselves with the best technology. Therefore, now to stop them, companies have to make their security system strong and reliable. The penetration test is used to make the security system strong and remove the weaknesses of the system.  The art of hacking is constantly increasing and keep pushing the system to the limits.

With the online banking system, the users feel secure and they can easily access their accounts without going to banks. The ideas of the paying the services and good electronically is not a new concept. In the early stages of the internet evolution, it was common to make all the assumptions that each of these machines that are used by the ten people.  Nowadays the people are using the mobile commerce to use its accounts payments technology providers have appeared.

Security is one of the major factors that must keep in mind before establishing a business and in online banking due to the existence of the internet, there must some threats can found that cause the problem for online banking in terms of the transaction. The transaction can be possible in terms of electronic banking like the use of ATMs because there is no need to enter the branch and pass the cheque for taking money. (Kolodinsky, Hogarth, & Hilgert, 2004).

There are many of the problems are concerned with the E-banking transaction on national or as well as especially on the international level. These transactions need to be done on the basis of the clear transfer of money from one place to another so that it can be easily transferred from one person to another without any disturbance or interruption. There came a lot of improvements in the technology but still, it has some drawbacks which are making this strategy more problematic and people who are facing this issue are very much disturbed by this problem. ( Integrity, 2014)

Aims And Objectives

This research paper aims at maintaining payment security is required for all entities that store, process or transmit cardholder data. Guidance for maintaining payment security is provided in PCI security standards. These set the technical and operational requirements for organizations accepting or processing payment transactions, and for software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in those transactions


The result of current study contributes to solve e-banking service and improve it in terms of providing efficient and proper strategies to the customers who use it. When a customer is known by the proper procedures of e-banking then it became valuable for it. If the E-banking results will improve by improving its strategies and methods that are implemented in this system.


This study is limited only to Saudi Banking. The researchers state that this scope is working only in the Saudi Arabia country because it has a limited terminology of working as well as it has a specific task of doing anyone in terms  of transacting money from the backings as well as only to Saudi people not from the outside of the Saudi Arabia as the system is not very vast and as well as the system as some issues if extended to the country other than Saudi Arabia.

Literature Review

The Internet has changed the lives of the people; the people get access to their information or data on one click. All the local and the international banks have their online websites through which the customers do their transactions.  With the help of online, the customers can easily open their new account through over internet. The online banking facilitates its customers and the customers can easily handle their account online without any problem. Online banking is one of the great sources that change the means of banking because due to this advancement of online facility customers can easily access their account and makes the transactions in all over the world and all of this is possible due to the presence of internet. The Internet brings the change in the banking industry and makes the transaction easier. Security is the term that is associated with the online baking essentially because without security confirmation, the online banking system is not secure and it will be the great loss for banks and clients. Different articles are discussed here for the literature review.

Pikkarainen, et al (2004) have described the banking technology that with the extension of the technology model. Online banking changes the way of the transaction and the other aspects that associate with the banks. Online banking is accepting by the consumers rapidly in all over the world because it has many advantages because due to this facility, consumers can access their account easily and manage their account through transactions. The study is about the traditional technology acceptance that tells how the people accept this online banking facility means how the online banking get popularity among the people. The research study is conducting on the basis of samples that use the TAM software for knowing the acceptance and the results show that information that is available on the websites are the main factors that play their role in the acceptance of the online banking. Therefore, it is clear that online banking makes the changes in the world because people accept this technology to enhance their banking experience.

Aladwani ( 2001) have discussed the issues that are relevant to the online banking with the help of drivers, development challenges and expectations of online banking. The study is conducted to find out the results about the risks that are associated with the online banking because online banking gets popularity among the people. This report is about the quantitative study of the bank’s aspects that observed with the help of customers, bank employees like IT managers and the observation give the clear idea that there are some risks that associated with the online banking. Online banking is the facility that growing rapidly because it relates to the retailers who use the online banking services for the transactions and other purposes. From the report, it is observed that online banking is the newest technology that introduces to the consumers for the better experience for using banking facility.

A study is conducted by Tan, et al (2000) that describes that what are the factors that make the influence in the adoption of internet banking. several factors are discussed in the study to draw the conclusion about the influencing factors like attitudinal, social and behavioural control factors are studied in this report. From the study of these three factors, it is observed that social factor play the less significant role in influencing the adoption of internet banking which means that attitude and behavioural factors are the major factors which make the great influence in the adoption of internet banking. other factors also include the government influence because they support to enhance the e-commerce industry and then automatically internet banking get adopted by the people.

Jaroslav, et al(2016) have conducted the study about the satisfaction of the customers in regards to online banking in commercial banks. Online payments are strictly secure because it is the huge amount of transaction that can be transferred from one account to another. Thorugh the security of the banking system, online banking get popularity among the people because online banking is mostly used to transfer money from one account to another and commercial banks also use the online banking facility and it will be the helpful study that shows commercial banks play an important role to provide the customer satisfaction in regards to the security of  online banking facility. Security is the necessary factor that must be kept in mind by the service providers that provide the online banking facility.

A study was conducted by Mukherjee, et al (2003) about the role of trust in the online banking. It is about the factor which has worst importance in online banking because its all about the relationship between bank and customers and trust is the factor that helps to build a relationship with online banking. Communication is the best source for building trust between bank and customer because banks assure the customers that the facility is secure and all the transaction is safe. Trust can be built among the public with different techniques that adopted by banks and they make a commitment to the customers that online banking depending on the perceived trust. With the help of this study, it is observed that how the trust factor is necessary for the online banking because without this factor relationship can never build between banks and customers.

Qureshi, et al (2008) have described the effect of online banking in the globalized world that how this technology gets acceptance rapidly in worldwide. Different technologies are invented in this modern era of technology that changes the world. online banking is one of the technologies that get popularity in all over the world. Everywhere in the world, the technology gets adopted by the counties but Pakistan is in the top of the country that has the highest rate to adapt this online banking facility because it grows up rapidly. The major reason for the popularity of this facility is the security system of the transaction. Banks gives the surety that online banking system is best for the transaction and other facilities that related to banks.

Advantages of The Online Banking

There are many advantages of the online banking, it can provide the comfort ability the customers can easily get access to their account and make financial transactions through internet. The second advantage of the online banking is availability the users can get access to their account and made transactions 24/7. The third advantage of the online banking is the faster processing of the e-banking website. Within a minute the money is transferred through the internet(Nwogu, 2014). The fourth advantage is that the online banking offers different services to its customers like bill payment, money transfer and checking accounts. The fifth advantage of the online banking is reliability because the banks provide the authentic and reliable platform to its customers so that the customers can do the transaction easily and with full confidence.

The Disadvantage of The Online Banking

There are some disadvantages of the online banking because there are many security threats in the online banking. Some customer does not prefer the online transaction as the think that the online transaction is it reliable and secure. The customers think that the e banking is not user-friendly.

Internet Banking Attacker Modeling

There are many threats to the internet banking; the hackers can get access to the information and data of the customers through the network. The vulnerabilities in the network allow the hackers to get access to the information band data of the users.

Malware is the type of attack in which the unauthorized users can get access to the information of the users. The hackers can inject the malware through the internet connection. After injecting the DDOS, the hackers can break the passwords and the chipper text by using the brute force attacks. The vulnerabilities in the network allow the hackers to get access to the accounts of the users and steal all their confidential information and data. The Trojan is the type of the malware, which can allow the hacker to attacks through the system. The dead of the paying the services and good electronically is not a new concept.

In the early stages of the internet evolution, it was common to make all the assumption that each of these machines that are used by the ten people. Mostly the hackers hack the mobile phones applications to steal the information and data of the users and misuse it. The different aspects of the security are mentioned as well as the threats are also explained that what rather threats a mobile phone is faced. As with the advancement in the technology, the android is the most famous operating system and it will offer the different application to its users.

The hackers focus on the Android, hacked the application of the Android, and attach the malicious code to the applications. It is stated in the report that the mobile phone is hacked and this attack is mostly in android application. It is stated that the apple is suffered from the mobile hacking because the hacker hacked the application of the app store.

The man-in-the-middle attack is an attack through which the hacker is in the middle of every transaction. In this attack, the hacker can sit in the middle of the network all the information between the user and the bank are located by the man in the middle. The hackers can get access to the information and data of the users. All the confidential information of the user can steal by the man in the middle(Khan, 2014).

Phishing is the process through which the hackers acquire all the sensitive information and data of the users. Through the phishing, all the sensitive data of the users can hack with the help of the network. Phishes are trying to monitor all the details of the personal bank account and through this, they can easily steal all the data from the customer’s.

Security For Online Banking Websites

The PCI DSS is applied to the network just to protect the information of the customers who use the application of online transactions. While making the DSS it is important to focus on some points to provide the dedicated link for the customers to operate. It is important to protect the network system by applying the firewall between the routers through this it is easy for the customers to operate their accounts. The encryption will be applied to the customer’s data through this encryption it is easy for the banks to protect their card information.

The team should monitor all the accounts of the customers and regularly check the network system just to confirm that there are no malware attacks over the network. The encryption will be applied to the customer’s data through this encryption it is easy for the bank to protect their card information. The cyber-security framework is applied to the system that will help to protect the confidential information and data of the customer from unauthorized access.

If the network is secured it is easy to protect the information card and it is easy to protect the bank amount details of the customers (Ericsson, 2010).  Only the authorized users can get access to the network system and they have encrypted users ID and passwords, which they use to log in their accounts. The banking websites are made according to the PCI DSS instruction and the team can follow these steps like Maintaining and building the secure network, Access control measures.


For this study, research is conducted for Security in electronic banking transactions. Research is conducted for the data collection through the second method and the qualitative approach is used.  The data is collected from the reliable and valid resources as discussed in this section. In the secondary data collection, the method the data is collected from the previous researchers, journals articles, peer-reviewed articles, newspaper articles and reports that are published in the authentic resources.

Current research uses the secondary analysis is considered for the effective purposes of the prior study focused on the original work of the journal and authentic source of books for security in electronic banking transactions. There could be better analysis of the security in electronic banking transactions. The research question, hypothesis, and aims of the research discussed. This study makes sure to do work with effective efforts and it fulfilled the demand of the study. All the research questions have the answer and drawback of the topic. Through secondary data, the research is investigating each perspective for the secondary research. Secondary research could be better than the systematic reviews and meta-analysis for these qualitative studies.

The research investigated the security in electronic banking transactions. We know thousands of companies are engaged with e-banking. This research is focused on the online global banking and their securities concerns. Every bank represented their region and allowed for comparing the security in electronic banking transactions of the different bank in Saudia Arabia. Standardized reports get from the banking about security concern in the transactions.


Based on objectives following Null hypotheses have been framed for testing purpose:

H01= There is no significant difference in the bank customers perception towards security in electronic banking transactions.

H02= There is no significant difference in the bank customers ‘awareness towards security in electronic banking transactions regarding the use of ATMs across selected banks of Saudia Arabia.

H03= There is no relationship between bank customers perception of security in electronic banking transactions.

H04= There is no significant difference in bank customers‘ perception towards security concern regarding the use of Internet Banking across selected banks of Saudi Arabia.

H05= There is no relationship between bank customers perception about security concern for transactions.

H06= There is no significant difference in bank customers perception towards security satisfaction regarding the use of ATMs.

H07= There is no relationship between bank customers perception of security concern and satisfaction in case of Credit Cards use.

H08= There is no relationship between bank customers of security concern satisfaction in case of Mobile Banking use.

Research questions

For this research, the ten features are used for collection of data. The features of this security concerns are mentioned here:

  1. Was customers are satisfied with the use of ATMs?
  2. Were people getting the security concerns for transactions?
  3. Was encryption used in the transmission of the security concern during a transaction?
  4. Was encryption can use for the storage of the banking data?
  5. Was there is any statement on the use of 68-bit encryption?
  6. Did there is an issue in all World Bank for secure transactions?
  7. Was there is any declaration for the use of security concerns?
  8. Did any site discuss the multi-level of the security concerns?
  9. Was transaction is safe in the bank?
  10. How can we reduce the chances of the security concerns in transactions?
Method For Data Analysis

In this research, secondary research is used for the multiple qualitative data sets that can get from the previous journal and authentic books. Through the consideration of the previous data of the journal and used for utilization of the existing data. The secondary research focused on the effective tool that used for this research. The research can make the collection of the data that is relevant to the effective materials and sample can collect and analyzed data that get from the previous researchers. In this study, all data collected from the authentic source.

Research Design

            In this study, current researchers focused on the secondary and qualitative data collection method can be used for researching the security in electronic banking transactions. Various data of the literature review can be used for analysis of the security in electronic banking transactions. Bank made the efforts for safe the security concern about transactions. The qualitative method focused on the elaboration of the exact phenomenon of the existing problems. The secondary data analysis is effective for the qualitative data. For this study, there is consideration of the secondary analysis so that there can be the utilization of the previous authentic data. The secondary analysis could better for qualitative data collection. For the better and accurate evaluation of the data, analysis can be conduct for the research on the topic of security in electronic banking transactions.

The secondary analysis can direct the research project because of the consideration of the data that can reliable and valid for the getting the effective results. The secondary research helps to get the analysis of the security in electronic banking transactions. Forgetting the authentic and reliable data, make sure the reliability and validity should be standardized.

Benefits For Secondary Analysis

            For the analysis of current research, security in electronic banking transactions analysis secondary data can use for findings. The data that is considered or collected by me in this research is used in order to help the current research studies. Through the analysis of the data, in the study result can be answers related to the specific research questions that are there in the research. In order to help the currents research, there is the focus on the earlier researchers that are relevant to the security of banking and transactions, the banks that continuously doing in arrange to arrive at the well-organized monetary outcome.

For the getting the efficient results, increasing the efficiency of the research, the current research considered as the efficient reply categories so that in this research could be the better analysis. Thus, the biggest advantage of the secondary research is that it uses the secondary data is effective for the researcher due to some advantages that secondary research saves the researcher time, money, resources as well as the energies of the researcher. Furthermore, through the focus on the level of capability, there is the compilation of the effective material so that there could be effective and particular survey regarding the analysis of the security in electronic banking transactions.

According to the statement of the problem the current research based on the secondary research that is a flexible method for maintaining the effectiveness of the research. Forgetting the relevant data in several ways, the research paradigm examines the evaluation of the research for the security in electronic banking transactions. In this study of bank security, provide for the transactions with the analysis of the applicable data in more than a few ways. The research paper considers the better examination and evaluation of security in electronic banking transactions, so that could be noticed and there can be effective evaluation and the existing research that how the company is increasing its revenue in the banking market.

The secondary research is useful for the security in electronic banking transactions because in this research the main focus on the banking transaction and security measures. In this study, the data can be used in the form of the detailed qualitative form and secondary research conduct the effective results in the beneficial and reasonable.

Tool For Data Collection

In this research, a design is the overall plan for obtaining of answers of the question by the help of secondary research and handles the difficulties of the come across the research process. According to the Hair et al. stated that most research objectives could be met by the user of the three types of the research design. Like exploratory research, descriptive research and causal-comparative research. For this study, the data is collected from the secondary resource that is reliable for this study.

Secondary research based on the analytical works that comment and interpret other work such as getting from the secondary source that is the reliable source of getting data. The data is second hand and published data has the accuracy and they often used for the acceleration of the results. Some sources that used in this research is the textbooks and bibliography.


Validity is the quality of being logically acceptable for the authority. In this study, the validity is a concern with the accurate data the state or quality of the being valid for the research. Validity helps to make the effective information you are getting is valid and evaluate the effectiveness of the study. In this section, the research the information relates to the problems or all null hypothesis can be evaluated. For maintaining, the validity expert helped with this paper and valid and authentic material could use the hypothesis investigated.


To determine the information used in this research is reliable, data evaluate the following research in the as criteria. Data is added in this research paper is written research authentic work and the author has the qualified and published in the world. The purpose of the research of the article is not appropriate for a method and measuring strategy. After checking the reliability of the data used for this research study. It is the type of secondary research that used gathered accurate the data. All information all get from the authentic source. Research study could found in the similar information and used a reliable source of the data. Customers want safety in terms of securing their passwords of online banking systems because it is a high-security risk term as it needs to be made purely secured for the customers because customers want a precise and accurate working system that saves their material from being hacked by the hackers.

Hackers are always in a mood that when they find some software so that they can hack it and leak their secret information especially in the term of making it and selling it to other banks in terms of taking charges from them as it is an unethical and complete illegal process. This new method introduced makes the data of the users secure and safe. It makes the user more reliable and trustworthy towards the online banking system of that bank.

The result of reliability concluded that people are unaware of the use of internet banking in the start when it introduced later it makes them aware of the system and makes them able to use this system in a way that it would be a good system to work effectively.  The need to be consistent in making their systems upgraded time to time and a swell a making their tasks well.

Justification of The Research Method

The aim of this research to justify the research methodology used in this study, secondary research used in this study explained the approach designed discussed and justified. Research processes aim and objective of this research is just the research designed. This problem is based on the qualitative data and secondary data get from the authentic journal and books of the writers that are accepted in the world.

The researcher used the methodology that justifies that this study should need deep knowledge for the solution of the problem. For the security of the banking, the secondary research is valid and reliable because of the need of the authentic at of the previous researchers. (UK Essays, 2015)

The most advantage for the secondary research the data is a valid and authentic source of the previous research. Another important advantage of this research by using the low cost and researcher did not use the time, money, resources and energies for the collection of data. Research conducted for using the best authentic source of data for getting the quality result. I justified the rationale for the research that is conducted as secondary research in this study. (Donald R. Moscato, 2012)


The banks provide the effective and efficient online services to its customers. The e banking is helpful for the customers they can access their bank accounts from everywhere in the world. To maintain the e-banking security is difficult because the mobile is attached to various devices. It is stated by the researchers of the Kaspersky Lab, a computer cybersecurity company. The online banking facilitates its customers and the customers can easily handle their account online without any problem(Cristina, Beatrice, & Florentina, 2008).

The online banking is reliability because the banks provide the authentic and reliable platform to its customers so that the customers can do the transaction easily and with full confidence. The hackers can inject the malware through the internet connection. After injecting the DDOS, the hackers can break the passwords and the chipper text by using the brute force attacks. The vulnerabilities in the network allow the hackers to get access to the accounts of the users and steal all their confidential information and data.

Findings are actually the results that are we conduct by following a proper methodology of working on this issue. This issue can only be resolved in terms of finding it unique and differently solution of this issue so that it could be resolved and implemented properly. This banking is no doubt popular with people now a day but many of the people find problems in adopting this issue due to some reasons they hesitate in trusting on this method. The security and privacy term are considered a major issue of discussion for it as it is a very sensitive method.

The transaction of money must be smooth and efficient so that it can make the process complete on time as a first priority. Sometimes problem becomes about the distant places of the banks from where people have to travel to some distant places sometimes to take their money this is also an issue considered in their money transfer. The popular issues are the time problem and the issue of keeping them waiting for their money to be transferred from one place to another. Time management needs consistent working of the banking systems. This research is based on solving the issues of the people from e-banking unwanted transactions so that they can get their money on time with best results and as well as on time transactions as well. (, 2018)

The main aim is to maintain the security of the transactions of money every time when needed. People find issues in the matter that they have to travel along for taking their money they wanted to have by just sitting in their homes because they have to go there it finds sometimes hectic for them. Sometimes a person needed money at the time when he is in a critical situation so he or she wanted to have it quickly at that time and he or she wants a smooth transaction so that their problem could be solved.This situation sometimes becomes very critical and as well as it became very much problematic and critical as well because of the need of money at that time if not fulfilled then it became useless if it is being considered late after the real-time has passed away. (Jung Hyun Lee, 2018)

People sometimes had another issue which is they have to tackle the issues of the systems of banking that they have for transacting the money from the banks. Sometimes when banks transfer money fo someone from its account to its recipient then it happened that there came a system failure by electricity cut off or by internet connection ran out.This problem is very much critical and as well as it has to be solved immediately because this problem is very much sense as this can cause loss to the person who is transferring money and it also had problem with the people who wanted his or her money on time by the bank or by the person who is sending it.

This system failures issue cause the bad impression of the electronic banking services of that bank who is offering their services to its customers. This issue is to be solved on first priority so that people cannot suffer any issue in terms of transferring their money and getting it for their use. Due to presence of security and online transaction through e-banking the way of shopping is also changed because banks make the transaction secure and people enjoy their life by shopping online through swipe their ATM cards or visiting the shopping mall or food court to enjoy their meal and then they pay with the ATM and all the transaction of money is done online and it will be the great source to joy the life happily. (Shah, Kwak, & Holbert, 2010)

Security must be considered by the banks and that is why they provide the e-banking transaction facility to the people and change the way of living their life.E-banking transaction is not only the transfer of funds from one account to another, even it is related to all the aspects of banking that are efficiency, security, and adaptiveness of the whole transaction process. E-banking changes the meaning of banking because people can use the online transaction for different purposes like pay the utility bills, school fees etc.

In fact, the online banking system is used for every purpose which is possible through the online transaction and the whole procedure is fully secured because there is a lot of transaction money that people can transfer online from one account to another account.For the confirmation of security of the transaction in e-banking, there are several techniques that use for the secure transaction. Using the official website of the bank and the official app of the bank is used by the customers because these websites and apps are fully secured because the bank is responsible for the security of these facilities. Security is made for the convenience of the public as well as for the banks because of it all about the money that people spend to meet the requirements of daily life. Banks also provide the facility of text messaging and it is for the security of the transaction.

Whenever a transfer is done the message is forward to the users about the transaction amount For the security in e-banking transaction, software should be updated because the up to date software will help to secure the transaction even the software is related to mobile phones or the computers or laptop because all the devices are used for the transaction process in e-banking. If there is not the up to date software then the hacker can easily steal the account of the users and it causes the loss for both banks and users. It would be the safety measures for the online transaction because banking system gets familiarity with the presence of online banking(Liao & Cheung, 2002).

E-banking get the revolutionary change in this modern era of technologies because this transaction will also play its role to make the world globalized because the online transaction can be made in all over the world and this vast facility can be used due to the high security that banks provide to their customers. With the surety of the security system and the facility of e-banking, the transaction process gets popularity among the people and they can prefer to use the online transaction instead of manual billing. Therefore, it is the responsibility of banks to protect the online transaction procedure to enhance the people experience.

The method which we adopted is that we get the information from many of the articles written on the E-banking transaction issues and gathered a lot of data about this issue. Findings we performed are about the online system’s portal of the banking systems in a way that how they are going to handle their online system as well as they are going to manage and work on their online portal system. As all the functions are to be maintained according to the method, it should be followed in the working systems of the bankings. (Chavan, 2013).

The online system must be efficient and smooth enough that it should be able to manage the system properly and efficiently as well as it manages the transactions smoothly and efficiently, as it needs to be done with consistency and accuracy as a must. Because if they do not follow the proper system of online banking then it became impossible to make the system on efficient working as if the system does not work properly then customers do not rely on that bank’s services anymore because customer always wanted perfect services. Findings includes all the results of the methods that have been implemented in order to complete the process smoothly and efficiently as well as the system wants to manage the processing efficiently because e-banking needs a consistent flow of internet and as well as a smooth flow of the working of the management of the organization needs to be done consistently and as well as they are going to take their services to the customers.

In terms of e-banking customers want a proper and efficient way of transferring of money from one bank to another so that it can be made easy for them to transfer their amount through e-banking from one p[lace to another. Many of the information is placed on the browsers that helps very much in order to find out the solutions to the problems that are concerned with the e-banking with different banks. A different form of banks especially the private banks who have online banking facility for their customers are very much important as well as it must be efficient and smooth. (TAFADZWA ZIMUCHA, 2018)

The customer who is going to transact its money from one bank to another through e-banking then it must happen because of making an account in the prescribed bank so that it becomes a proof for the users that they are the part of the banking system. When customer logs into its account then he or she be able to transfer his or her money from one bank to another. The accounts that are made in the banks should be made according to the need of the customer’s amount of transaction of money. If client having a trouble in logging in into its account then it became very much difficult for him to make it complete and proper functioning transaction.

Findings related to the improvements of the online banks account issue results the best as this improves the efficiency of the working about the transaction of money of the people through the online system from one place to another. Sometimes the distance becomes the major issue in the transaction of money from one place to another. If distant matters then it became a very much easy and difficult as well as it makes the transfer smooth and efficient as well. When your system is efficient and smooth it makes your customer reliable on your services as well as it makes your system smooth and efficient with the best services provided to your customers. (Wilcox, 2016)

Some of the online portals that need to be doing a consistent e4ffort must be more efficient as well as they must be more pressed and as well as important to take care of the steps that makes it efficient and concise enough that without any problem it would help the customers  in terms of making them efficient and smooth in their money transactions through E-banking.

There is a method that when implemented in the security factor so that it can be made accuarate and precised to runs smoothly and accurately as well in the login sysetem of the banks it can be helpful and makes your system efficient it is known as the (MFA) multi-Factor Authenticaion system that enables the system to check it time to time as when there happened to be an error in the suystyem then it would becom notice at the right time and can resolve quickly as well as it makes the working smooth and efficienty as well of the E-banking system of that bank with which you are dealing in terms of transferring money from one plce to another. (, 2012)

There introduced some of the virtual keyboards in the system to elaborate the true meanings of the actual working in an online banking system. This keyboard is considered to be a good application for using in the system of online banking because they are designed according to the needs of the system which makes them appropriate and as well as make it efficient and makes it happening according to the need of the system.


It is concluded after analyzing the situation that the online banking is the faster processing of the e-banking website. Within a minute, the money is transferred through the internet. The online banking offers different services to its customers like bill payment, money transfer and checking accounts. With the advancement in the technology and expansion of the globalization, the banks have to launch the new feature to increase their customer base, reduce their cost and to improve their financial services. There is much security which the e-banking are facing nowadays but the banks can improve their security only the authentic users can get to their bank accounts are have secure transactions.

When people started using the system it became very much helpful for them as they have to do the transaction on outside the country as well as this system makes their transactions safe and secure and provides an on-time delivery as well. Because when you satisfy your customer with your best services then it became very much good for your reputation and as well as for your efficiency of the working system as a first priority people use to commit with your banking services.

The people are relying very much on faulty towards the use of online banking. The online banking system is the most efficient and quick way of transferring money from one place to another. People now a days are very much familiar with the use of internet banking because the online banking system is making the working of people most efficient and as well as more reliable for the people to use it on regular basis for transferring the money from one place to another to one person  to another person to fulfil their needs and wants. About money.

The literature review stated that online banking system is very much unique and as well as it is very much helpful for the people in terms of transferring money to their loved ones who wanted it to fulfil their needs.It is concluded that the best and the most efficient working system needs to be done according to the most efficient and proper way of making it precise and accurate in terms of making it comfortable for the people who use this services to transfer the money. The use of most digital and advanced services in the electronic banking needs to make it more efficient and as well as more accurate to use it.


Based on the above overall discussions and the analysis on Security in E-Banking transactions it is observed that while banks improve the systems working security systems smoothly and making them efficient for the use of people then it became easy for them to transfer money from internet help. Now banks use a virtual keyboard in terms of making their working smooth and efficient because that keyboards are designed according to the usage in online banking and they make the online banking system smooth and efficient as well as makes it successful for the use of the users.

The use of virtual keyboards which are designed according to the system needs of security in online banking makes the working of the banking efficient and very much smooth as it is the most efficient way of checking the security system of the banking in online transactions mostly it happens that the system they are working with have some errors in it and as well as they must consider seriously on the portion of securing passwords of the systems in which they are going to implement their workings efficiently as well as accurately as well.

It is strongly recommended that banks should use the risk lessening strategy sop that customers more freely on the policies of your banks in international banking as well as it makes the efficiency of your bank great. Most of the times it happens that when banks work on the efficiency of the pure and efficient banking systems in terms of making them accurate for the users then they became very much famous in terms of making the workings efficient and strong as well.

The recommendations stated that some of the issues and policies if changed in an online system in banking then it became very much responsibility of them to save the data of the users from the hackers As hacking system is very much dangerous and it is making an enormous feature that is spread into the software system, as well as they, are working in an efficient way so that it can be made safe from the hackers as well as hackers want the information of the accpint systems of the bpeople so that they can get money from them. And that money they will utilize for their needs this is an interesting fact and it should be controlled through implementing a proper security system in the banks.

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