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Alameda County Family Justice Center

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Children are affected by domestic violence. In studies conducted by Carlson, Straus and Gelles (as cited in the Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/abuse_neglect.htm), around 3.3 to 10 million children observe the abuse of one parent by another. Although children may not be present during an abusive episode, they are still impacted by it. They notice physical signs such as bruises, hear yelling and screaming and can feel tension between adults. Research has indicated that young children especially from birth to 5 years can be profoundly affected by exposure to domestic violence. Since brain development is influenced by experience, the brain of an infant or young child exposed to domestic violence may become "stuck" in a state of fear. As a result, the child may develop behaviors that promote survival such as hyper-vigilance, a focus on threat-related cues and impulsive behavior. (http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/abuse_neglect.htm)

How Domestic Violence Affects Children
What do Children Learn from Domestic Violence?
Community Resources
For Further Information