A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON THE IMPACT OF EXPOSURE TO INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

  • Sibylle Artz University of Victoria
  • Margaret A Jackson Simon Fraser University
  • Katherine R Rossiter Simon Fraser University
  • Alicia Nijdam-Jones FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children
  • István Géczy Northern Lights College
  • Sheila Porteous University of Victoria
Keywords: children, domestic violence, exposure, intimate partner violence, witnessing, youth

Abstract

Children living in homes where intimate partner violence occurs are often exposed to such violence through witnessing, seeing its effects, hearing about it, or otherwise being made aware that violence is taking place between parents or caregivers. Exposure to intimate partner violence is considered to be a form of child maltreatment, and affected children are often also the victims of targeted child abuse. This paper presents findings from a comprehensive review of the literature on the impact of exposure to intimate partner violence for children and youth, focusing on: (a) neurological disorders; (b) physical health outcomes; (c) mental health challenges; (d) conduct and behavioural problems; (e) delinquency, crime, and victimization; and (f) academic and employment outcomes. The notion of cascading effects informed our framework and analysis as it became evident that the individual categories of impacts were not only closely related to one another, but in a dynamic fashion also influence each other in multiple and interconnected ways over time. The research reviewed clearly shows that children who are exposed to intimate partner violence are at significant risk for lifelong negative outcomes, and the consequences are felt widely in society.

Author Biography

Sibylle Artz, University of Victoria
Professor School of Child and Youth Care
Published
2014-10-07