Did you know that when children speak up about domestic violence, their parents are more likely to consider stopping their violent behavior? Studies have shown that simply knowing the traumatic effects of violence on children creates a strong motivation for abusive parents to stop.
Many parents and other caregivers in these situations simply have no idea of the far-reaching impact of their action, or inaction.
As we review these factors, we can easily see the challenge we all face, for as these children of domestic violence grow up, they do not often remain simply silent victims. There is a cycle of violence that perpetuates itself.
We must ask ourselves: How do we help a population that has fallen through the cracks? Children who, as adults, are:
- Six times more likely to commit suicide
- Fifty times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
- Seventy-nine times more likely to commit a violent act against another
Perhaps most alarming is that, “someone who grew up living with domestic violence will not reach their full potential unless they unlearn what they learned…there is no doubt in my mind,” says David A. Sousa, author of How the Brain Learns.
Many of these bright, creative, intelligent souls become suffering adults. They are people who never had the chance to discover their true selves, who feel more bad than good each day, but don’t know why. Today’s children cannot break the cycle themselves. It is up to us, the adults who suffered as they now suffer, to step forward and choose to heal our past; to break the cycle of violence and to demand that we do not each simply become another sad statistic.
Know that it is in your personal power to overcome the past and break any cycle of violence you may have inherited. You can unlearn the lies that perpetuate the above statistics.
If you grew up living with domestic violence, please share in the comments below whether you feel that you’ve been able to reach your full potential?