"Behind Closed Doors"- Part 3

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

Domestic violence is usually seen as an adult problem, but many children can see it as well.

Adults in violent relationships and marriages think they're the only ones feeling the pain, but they are not.

"The longer the children are in that environment, the more profound the effects are on them", says Nora Wright, who works with the Barren River Area Safe Space.

Wright talks to teenagers in area counties about domestic violence and how it can effect them.

"Many times they'll reveal that they've grown up in a family where there's domestic violence", says Wright.

Often women stay in an abusive relationship for the children. Growing up in this type of environment isn't what the children need.

Domestic violence in the home can cause children to have mood swings and behavior problems, problems with delinquency, school problems, and eventually even drugs or alcohol problems. Advocates at BRASS say the problems become even more serious the longer they stay in that environment.

What these children may be hearing or seeing could also lead them into similar situations.

"It's a pattern of behavior and a cycle and children who come from abusive homes tend to unfortunately find themselves in those situation as adults", says Monica Woods, who works for the Bowling Green Police Department.

"I think it really hits home for a lot of them because we know that dating violence is a huge problem with our teenagers", says Wright.

Like adults, teenagers can also be in a relationship with a lot of jealousy, mood swings, and ones that move too quickly, especially if this is what they've seen in their own home.

"If they've grown up in a home where there's domestic violence they may have thought this is just the way it's supposed to be", says Wright.

"It will start happening there for the most part. A lot of young ladies fall victim to this because that's what they've seen. That's the way their father treated their mother so they think that's an acceptable way of being treated in the relationship", says Warren County Circuit Court Judge, Steve Wilson.

"We're teaching young women, younger and younger, that it's not acceptable to be hit. We're also telling them if your boyfriend is hitting you now, I promise you he's going to continue this behavior, because that's either what he's learned or how he's built, or that's what he's seen as a child", says Wilson.

Advocates with the Barren River Area Safe Space say they get alot of calls from parents who suspect their child, male or female, may be in a violent relationship.

They also offer children's services at the shelter to get children and teens help.

If you want more information on this or you are in a violent relationship and want help, you can call the 24-hour crisis hotline number for BRASS at 1-800-928-1183.

Domestic violence cases also pose a lot of problems for area law enforcement.

This weekend, we're going to be looking into how police departments treat domestic violence cases more seriously today than in the past.


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