Important early intervention to mitigate the effects of mental health on children exposed to violence


Children exposed to domestic and family violence (DFV) have more mental health, such as anxiety and depression, than children who have never experienced violence, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of West Australia (UWA). It turns out that the risk of the problem is much higher. Also, by the age of 18, you are five times more likely to need mental health service assistance.

Also, on average, there is a six-year delay between health or police intervention and children receiving mental health support, and researchers have identified a significant need for early intervention to reduce the risk of mental health deterioration. I came to emphasize. Adulthood.

A study entitled “Investigating the Mental Health of Children Exposed to Domestic and Family Violence by Using Linked Police and Health Records” was born between 1987 and 2010 in West Australia (WA). ) Observed the effects of domestic and family violence on children. Following the interaction with medical services until the end of 2016.

Dr. Carroll O, lead author and researcher at the UWA School of Population and World Health, said Tuesday’s UWA announcement that exposure to domestic violence is a common and highly traumatic childhood experience. Said.

“Children experiencing domestic or domestic violence have a 36% higher risk of depression, a 49% higher risk of anxiety, and an almost 60% higher risk of intentional self-harm.” Orr said.

“Children need to be recognized as victims in their own right.”

According to Professor Colleen Fisher, head of the UWA Population and Global Health School, this study provides solid evidence of how physical and psychological abuse at home affects the mental health of children. Offers.

“Children are sometimes described as hidden victims of family and domestic violence. These findings indicate the urgent need for early and appropriate intervention to help and mitigate harm. It shows that, “Fisher said.

Epoch Times Photo
Children exposed to domestic or domestic violence are five times more likely to need mental health support by the age of 18. (Shutter2U / Adob ​​eStock)

How to proceed with early intervention

Many children exposed to DFV were not engaged in mental health services until several years after exposure, so the study report stated that “a separate, independent national for the mental health of children exposed to DFV. The need for response and strategy ”is emphasized.

As part of this, mental health clinicians need to be knowledgeable about DFV and its impact on mental health, as well as the ability to respond appropriately to children exposed to DFV.

In addition, the report is part of the report, as each of the institutions that the child and his family may come into contact with, such as education, health, police, and child protection, each provides points of intervention. Is important for broader collaborative, multi-institutional, and interdisciplinary responses to DFV

The report also points to the importance of future research investigating factors associated with delays in providing mental health services to children exposed to DFV.

Child abuse related to later violence

The UWA-led study comes after experts at the University of South Australia (UniSA) recently warned that child abuse is closely linked to later violence, which authorities are most aware of. It is important.

Professor Leonie Seagull, a child adversity expert, said in a UniSA announcement in late June that there was “unquestionable” evidence that child abuse would lead to later domestic violence.

“For example, a child whose mother is subject to proven child abuse or neglect is 10 times more likely to be subject to proven child abuse and nearly 20 times more likely to be transferred to out-of-home care due to imminence. There are, and serious safety concerns, “she said.

She added that the cycle of abuse most often begins in childhood, and strategies to prevent domestic violence must support babies and children exposed to abuse and ignore key factors. I did.

“If more is done to help victims of child abuse while still young, we can better disrupt the course of abuse and prevent victims from being involved in a continuous cycle of violence.” She said.

Steve Milne


Steve is a Sydney-based Australian reporter working on sports, arts and politics. He is an experienced English teacher, a qualified nutritionist, a sports enthusiast, and an amateur musician. Contact him at [email protected].