According to NSPCC (2009) domestic abuseis any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violence behaviour betweenpeople in a relationship. Domestic abuse can be extremely harmful many childrenand younger people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse.
Abuseand neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglecta child either directly by inflicting harm, or indirectly, by failing to act toprevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional orcommunity setting; by those known to them; or, more rarely, by a stranger.
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Theymay be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children. There are five types of child abuse. Accordingto Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2011)neglect is an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairmentof development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, medicalcare, intellectual stimulation supervision and safety, attachment to andaffection from adults. Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injurywhich results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child. Emotionalabuse is when a child’s needs for affection, approval, consistency and securityare not met.
Sexual abuse is when a child is being used by another person forhis or her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others. Accordingto Safe Ireland (2015) “domestic violence is the physical, emotional, sexual or mental abuse of oneperson by another within close, intimate or family relationship.” Unicef(2006) reviewed existing studies that measure violence in the home in variouscountries. Thenumbers estimated by the research are staggering.
Over 275 million children internationallyare open to violence in their own homes. There is a common link betweendomestic violence and child abuse. Among the victims of child abuse, 40 percent of children have reported seeing domestic violence in their own home.
Onereport from America found that children who were exposed to violence in theirhomes were 15 times more likely to be physically and/or sexually assaulted thanthe national average. I now want to discuss the Irish statistics on childrenand domestic violence.