Report: Over 25 Percent of Youth Witness Family Violence in Lifetime
|November 22, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, Research, Youth Development||
Data from the groundbreaking National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NATSCEV) capture, in unprecedented detail, the amount and type of violence youth witness within the home. More than a ¼ of children have experienced the terror of at least one episode of familial violence in their lifetime. Over 11 percent of youth reported witnessing or overhearing violence – either verbal threats and attacks or physical aggression – in the past year while 6.6 percent were exposed to physical violence between their parents during the same time period.
The majority of cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) were reported to have a male perpetrator (78 percent), most often the father or other male (boyfriends not living with the mother, etc). Over 1/5 (22.6) of youth witnesses to IPV reported incidents with only female perpetrators and 8.6 percent reported witnessing violent acts featuring both male and female perpetrators.
When asked what immediate reactions, if any, they had toward the violence, nearly half of the children responding to the survey had attempted to halt the violence by yelling (49.9 percent) while 43.9 percent attempted to leave the vicinity and less that ¼ of respondents (23.6) called for assistance.
Reports, both scientific and anecdotal, linking tough economic conditions to violence and abuse within the home have been widely reported in the media since the downturn took hold. This study provides compelling evidence of the need for continued and improved screening protocols, violence prevention, and intervention methods to address the violence children are exposed to within the home, in times of economic growth or decline.
The brief Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence by Sherry Hamy, David Finkelhor, Heather Turner and Richard Ormrod discusses the survey results in-depth and is available in PDF form at the National Criminal Reference Service website.