How Domestic Violence Exposure Affects Children
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Domestic violence is known to have detrimental effects on the health and well being of individuals, especially on the children who are and have been exposed to abuse. In general, when mothers are safe from abuse, their children are then also safe from the abuse (Jezierski, Lynch, Pharris & Sateren, 2004). Therefore, it is vital that providers who work with children, including nurse practitioners, fully grasp in entirety the subtleties of domestic violence, recognize domestic violence when it exists, and intervene properly. The effect that domestic violence has on mothers and their children will be discussed. These include identifying factors characterizing domestic violence, screening tools useful in assisting practitioners to identify domestic violence, and recommendations and referrals to community-based resources. These areas of discussion will give practitioners some guidance regarding best practices and advocacy for these children and their mothers. Domestic violence presents risks for children physically, emotionally, and developmentally. Practitioners have a professional obligation to screen for domestic violence. Practitioners can contribute a vital role in intervening and halting the cycle of domestic violence.