The home should be the most protected place for children, a safe space where they can develop and flourish so that they can grow to be well adjusted and fulfilled adults.
Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of children in Israel, the home is a threatening and toxic place, leaving many of them traumatized throughout their lives, said President of NA’AMAT, Hagit Pe’er, in the annual conference to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The conference took place at NA’AMAT’s Ayanot Youth Village and focused on domestic violence and its impact on children.
Hagit Pe’er and the Chairperson for the Committee for Children’s Rights, MP Michal Shir, together with law, social work and criminology experts, spoke about the implications of domestic violence on children.
The bill initiated by NA’AMAT that recognizes children who witness violence as victims of abuse was also discussed.
We should all make utmost efforts to put a stop to all kinds of violence in our society.
Violence against women is a phenomenon carrying many consequences, not only for the woman against whom the violence is directed, but also for further cycles in her closer and more distant surroundings.
There is no doubt that the ones who are adversely affected by violence in the family, apart from the direct victim, are principally the children, who grow up in a toxic environment, being thus exposed to and witnessing various kinds of domestic terrorism.
Children always witness violence, even if their parents may have the impression that violence takes place far from their sight.
The children take in everything, and the course of their lives, their development, adolescence and functioning as grown-ups is affected, and at times dictated, by the childhood trauma under the shadow of violence.
Providing care and assistance to a woman who has fallen victim to violence, or to her violent life partner, does not only alleviate their problem, but also prevents further transmission of this behavior pattern to the next generation.
A child who is witness to violence might end up being a violent adult, and a girl who is witness to violence may end up being a victim herself.
Boys and girls who are exposed to violence at their homes will take the traumatic experience along to the kindergarten, to the school, to their military service, as well as to their relationships.
All the circles surrounding them will be affected by that difficult childhood experience.
Therefore, it is so important to interrupt the cycle of violence.