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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153770 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Domestic Violence on Children: A Report to the President of the American Bar Association
Author(s): H Davidson
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc.
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: American Bar Assoc.
1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The American Bar Association (ABA) has long been involved in identifying appropriate legal responses to family violence, all forms of which have a destructive effect on children and their families.
Abstract: The effect of domestic violence on children is a particularly serious social issue that affects all communities and cuts across racial, ethnic, religious, and economic lines. While State and local bar associations have increasingly developed legal services for domestic violence victims and several national groups have focused on effective responses to domestic violence, little attention has been paid to the traumatic effects of such violence on children. It is unclear how many children witness domestic violence annually, but experts estimate the number at between 3.3 and 10 million. An estimated 87 percent of children in violent homes witness the abuse. Detrimental effects of domestic violence on children have been noted at the Federal level, and many State legislative provisions and trial court decisions now recognize the adverse impact on children living with an adult who is or has been brutal in the home. In addition, some children caught in the "crossfire" of domestic violence become accidental victims of serious injuries. The ABA specifically recommends that domestic violence laws require police and courts to adequately protect children; that enhanced education, treatment, and awareness efforts be focused on domestic violence and children; that legal representation for domestic violence victims and their children be improved; that perpetrators of domestic violence and child abuse be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms; that domestic violence be properly considered in all domestic relations actions involving child custody and visitation; that connections between domestic violence and child abuse and neglect be addressed responsibly; and that the special needs of immigrant women and their children who are domestic violence victims be addressed. Specific suggestions are offered on what attorneys and the organized bar can do to prevent domestic violence and its effects on children. Additional information on ABA policies toward domestic violence is appended. 78 endnotes
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; American Bar Association (ABA); Child abuse prevention; Child abuse situation remedies; Child protection laws; Courts; Domestic assault prevention; Juvenile victims; Victims of violent crime; Violence prevention
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