When younger children are exposed to domestic violence and abuse in the home, it generally leads to increased activity in certain areas of the brain, which can pose long-term neurological risks, according to a study by the University College London.
In fact, the study reveals that the brain activity of these children is comparable to soldiers who have been deployed in areas where they were directly exposed to violent combat situations. As a result of their exposure, both groups exhibit signs of being hypersensitive and extremely alert to potential dangers or hazards in their immediate environment. This shows clearly the traumatic impact such experiences can have on a developing brain.
While some children manage to survive these situations relatively unscathed, many who are exposed to physical violence at home at an early age will be at risk of suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health problems later in life.
How Divorce Could Affect Your Child’s Health and Well-Being
Parents are supposed to protect their children, care for them and provide them with a safe environment in which they can grow up to become happy, healthy adults. When a married couple starts yelling, fighting or engaging in acts of violence – even if they believe that they are doing so out of sight of their children – it is often the children’s health and well-being that is most affected.
Children are more aware of what is going on than most parents realize. When they see their parents become violent with each other, or worse yet, they become the outlet for one of the parent’s anger, it can cause long-term damage. Some children may grow up thinking that is how to treat the people you love. Others could become extremely withdrawn or reluctant to interact with people for fear of being physically and emotionally harmed.
How to Protect Your Child from Being Exposed to Violence after Divorce
Divorce can be an effective way to put an end to physical violence and abuse in the home. As long as both parties are able to steer clear of each other, yet remain on speaking terms, a divorce may defuse the situation enough that the child is no longer at risk of exposure.
A proper decision about which parent has custody can also help minimize a child’s risk of being exposed to violence after divorce, as courts generally award custody based on what is in the child’s best interests.
If you are worried about your child being exposed to your ex-spouse’s violence after a divorce, but are unsure how to provide your child with the protection needed, seek legal representation at once. An experienced Raleigh attorney can help you fight to obtain emergency custody of your child.
In certain situations, judges are willing to issue an emergency custody orders to parents who believes their child is at risk of harm from domestic violence or abuse. Until a court hearing can be held to prove such allegations, an emergency custody order may be a way to get your child out of a potentially dangerous situation.
- University College London: Maltreated children show same pattern of brain activity as combat soldiers