Seeing his mother being beaten is a serious form of psychological abuse that puts track.
We estimate that between 100,000 to 190,000 children in Sweden are witnessing family violence. No one knows for sure. The real figure is large.
Many children living in families where the woman is beaten attention whatsoever not. In Save the Children's latest study, presented in the report notifications that disappeared (2003), got only 20 of 72 children to social services awareness. In many cases, the police failed to notify the children's presence at the crime scene, in other cases the lost social services, simply remove the notifications. The shortcomings of the agency collaboration on children in vulnerable situations is so serious is worrying. The police must in each case noted in the police reports that there are children in a family where the man used violence. If the police do not pay attention to children must not social learning of them and the kids left without support and assistance.
Children's reactions are strong
Children exposed to abuse or become a witness to a family member gets beaten usually react very strongly. They are scared, angry, sad and offended. Many fear for their own or family members' lives and feel shame and guilt over not being able to stop the violence. But it is not certain that the environment recognizes the child suffering. The pain and the thoughts may be present inside the child without showing it on the outside.
Children who do not manage to keep the reactions within itself can react with very strong symptoms become obvious to the environment. Sometimes holding the baby back their reactions when violence is ongoing. The reaction may appear later, when the child feels safe, or when a new situation in life raises old memories. Affected children may, for example, become anxious, aggressive, depressed or have psychosomatic symptoms. Concentration problems and peer problems are common. However, based on whether the child has symptoms or symptoms from which the kids show up, you never know if a child is living in a violent home environment. It is therefore important to ask.
In the longer term risk abuse within the family always affect the child's values and views on other people. The vulnerable children usually do not tell others about the violence, but learns that this is something that should be kept within the family. They also learn that violence is something that an adult, or who is stronger, get use to achieve their purposes. A consequence of the child's experiences may be that it sees the whole world as unpredictable and hostile, it may be difficult to trust other people.
Most children who grow up in a violent home environment either fighting or abuse as adults. But along with other factors may contribute to adult becomes violent or do not respect other people's boundaries. This applies especially if the kids never got help to protect or never had the opportunity to share their experiences.
How can we help?
Although abuse can have devastating consequences and is forbidden by law, we often feel a reluctance to interfere in other people's family situation. We may be afraid of being wrong in our suspicions or to hurt worse by mixing the authorities. But for many children is an outside intervention, the only chance to stop the violence. Early intervention means that the family can help to break the destructive pattern before anyone gets serious harm.
Individuals who become aware that a child is being abused live in a family where there is abuse can report it to the police or social services. Although it can mean discomfort, it is important to dare to conceive the child's side. If you feel unsure about how to act, you can call and consult social services.
All authorities and employees who work with children and young people or in health care are required by law to immediately report suspicions that a child is being abused to the Social Welfare Board (Chapter 14, § 1 Social Services Act).
Support and treatment
Common to all the children that continued violence is a serious risk factor. The most important is to stop the violence and provide children with a safe living environment. Then chances are great that the kids feel better.