One of the major causes of homelessness for children in the U.S. includes experiences of trauma, especially in the area of domestic violence. According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, there are 2.5 million homeless children in America – one in every 30 children – go to sleep without a home of their own each year.
Breakaway Outreach partners with churches, agencies, and community volunteers around the U.S. to help provide Christmas shoebox gifts for children affected by domestic violence, homelessness, and transitional living. If you are interested in serving with this program, CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
More Info About Children Affected by Domestic Violence
The U.S. government’s Child Welfare Information Gateway provides a review of some research about the effects of domestic violence on children. Studies indicate that child witnesses, on average, are more aggressive and fearful and more often suffer from anxiety, depression and other trauma-related symptoms when compared to children who have not witnessed abuse or been abused. Children growing up in violent homes often feel they are responsibile for the abuse and may feel guilty because they think they caused it or because they are unable to stop it. They live with constant anxiety that another beating will occur or that they will be abandoned. They may feel guilty or confused for loving the abuser or getting mad at the victim. Children may be at a higher risk of alcohol or drug abuse, experience cognitive problems or stress-related ailments (headaches, rashes), and have difficulties in school. The Family Violence Prevention Fund offers a good overview of facts related to how children can be affected by domestic violence, and provides many additional resources.
Domestic Violence Statistics
- Every 9 seconds a woman is battered in the United States and one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
- About four in ten female victims of intimate partner violence lived in households with children under age 12.
- Forty percent of teenage girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
- One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
- Young women between the ages of 16-24 in dating relationships experience the highest rate of domestic violence and sexual assault.
- 15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year. Seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
- In homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused.
- Boys who witness domestic violence in their own home are three times more likely to become batterers.
- Domestic violence is the number one reason for homelessness among women.