Domestic Violence Essay

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hild exposure to adult domestic violence has increasingly become a concern for both practitioners and researchers. For example, new research in child welfare systems has revealed that large proportions of children under protective supervision are exposed to adult domestic violence but that screening and investigation of the violence is often inadequate (English, Edleson & Herrick, 2005; Hazen, Connelly, Kelleher, Landsverk, & Barth, 2004). Juvenile and family courts struggle to understand and assess the significance of child exposure when making decisions concerning custody and visitation (Jaffe, Lemon & Poisson, 2003; Kernic, Monary-Ernsdorff, Koepsell & Holt, 2005). Law enforcement leaders have questioned their own responses to children who are present when police respond to adult domestic assault reports (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 1997). And, finally, battered women’s shelters and other domestic violence prevention programs have increasingly recognized and expanded their responses to the needs of children in the families they serve (Saathoff & Stoffel, 1999). Professionals working in these programs have little guidance and few tools to carefully assess exposed children so that they can target new policies and practices to best serve them. As a result, several investigators have developed instruments to measure the impact of exposure. For example, Graham-Bermann (1996) developed the Family Worries Scale, and Grych and colleagues (Grych, Seid, & Fincham, 1992) developed the Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale. These instruments measure the emotional and behavioral consequences of a child’s exposure to adult domestic violence, but do not give information about the child’s actual exposure experiences. There are no existing measures of a child’s exposure to adult domestic violence that both adequately measure it and have

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