Domestic violence and its effects on children

In the previous article, we analyzed bullying from mimetic theory. We managed to identify the bullying in the context of a circle of violence that arises from the mimetic phenomenon in which we are immersed, which gives an explanation for a myriad of human behaviors. However, from René Girard’s mimetic theory, human desires are conceived as impulses or motivations: the root is not born internally, but is essentially derived, i.e. its nature is external to the desiring subject.

Domestic violence: causes and effects

To illustrate the above, we can briefly cite the same conflicting situations from mythical tales, like the founding of Rome (the struggle between Romulus and Remus) or Genesis (the deadly rivalry between Cain and Abel), where we can find this non-competitive competitiveness. so much to achieve what the other has, but to become the other, to usurp his identity, in which we see an autonomy and a domination which one does not have (let us call it the “desire to be a other”).

It is in this process of appropriation that this will to subdue, to dominate or even to destroy comes into play, Actions reproduced in all social spheres.

The drive for domination: a psychoanalytic approach to the phenomenon of violence

In this logic, we can warn that if education is a reflection of society and vice versa, the problem of school violence is a cancer that affects not only those involved in education, but society as a whole. Having already analyzed the negative behaviors that characterize bullying, we take a step back to have a panoramic view that allows us to study another of the components that make up this conflict. Beyond school, we find the family, fundamental nucleus of society. It is the elementary support, the basis of the social structure, which refers to the systematic formation of correlations between individuals directly and indirectly linked within a society.

Considering the latter, in Mexico there is a popular saying: lin education she is breastfed with milkWhich means that the development of people’s intellectual and moral capacities begins at home, although this is true for better or for worse, it is also a condemnation. But what do our children breastfeed at home?

Most research studies their effects on children domestic violence, But not in all its aspects and dimensions, as they mainly focus on assaults directly directed against minors along the line of the father / mother-son / daughter relationship. However, analyzing the relationship between different forms of aggression, abuse or neglect in families could reveal relevant data for the study of domestic violence and its consequences, according to research conducted by the Department of University of Arizona psychology, supported by the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, children who witness domestic / family violence (whether seen or heard) suffer as much as direct victims of violence, From the consideration that the consequences which ensue are the same.

The child living in a violent family environment

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, violence between children and adolescents tends to develop primarily in an environment where the child is in particularly stressful conditions and situations, especially those related to family. some examples, we can cite single parenthood, marriage breakdown or instability, parents’ unemployment situation – which in turn leads to a low level of family income -, as well as various aspects of parenthood that can contribute violent behavior in children.

Being a parent is a complex task, no one is born knowing how to be a parent and this can manifest itself in inappropriate control (lack of supervision, authority and responsibility for children), very strict discipline (laxity and inconsistent discipline), dissensions between parents, rejection of the child and limited participation and / or lack of interest in the activities of the child, lack of communication and inconsistency in parental behavior.

The psychological effects of domestic violence on children

Then, when violence is an accumulation of uncertainties and frustrations that the child is unable to locate among his capacities (models of social behavior) the socially appropriate and necessary means to cope, will seek to reduce stress through crisis behaviors, demonstrating different mental and emotional imbalances in their behavior such as distraction, low self-esteem, sleep disturbances, guilt and aggression against peers, family members and the property of others.

Children today are exposed to endemic violence at an earlier age than a few decades ago. According to WHO global statistics, they only happened in 2011 250,000 homicides among young people aged 10 to 29.

Regarding sexual violence, an international study reports that between 3 and 24% of women have had their first forced sexual experience. Finally, a study carried out in 40 countries shows that exposure to violence and harassment affects both boys (8.6-45.2%) and girls (4.8-45.8%), without mention that 15% of children between grades 1 and 8 had been bullied or harassed “more than once or twice” in the six weeks preceding the survey.

While it is true that the recommendations of different organizations and programs are already being implemented internationally and within each country, emphasis should be placed on the importance of eradicating domestic violence.

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