In a secondary data analysis performed by Hornor (2005), it concludes that boys who witness their fathers beating their mothers have a 1000% increased risk of abusing their future spouses. In contrary to Hornor (2005), a study from Margolin and Gordis (2004) that used official and unofficial reports of professionals working with children from The National Centre of Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), determined that children who were exposed to violence between their parents subsequently increases the rate from 5% to approximately 30% who would later in life to commit violence against an adult partner. However, even with a history of experiencing abuse, 70% of children exposed to violence do not become abusive adults (Margolin & Gordis, 2004). With such a high number of children not being affected by exposure to violence, a fundamental question that is asked: Why do some children show negative outcomes and other children appear to be more resilient? Questions such as these often remain unanswered to this days, further research is deemed necessary to provide an explanation for this new research field of study (Margolin & Gordis, 2004).
Being exposed to violence does not have a target age, Hornor (2005) provides detailed information about the fetus being subject to abuse while still in the mother’s womb. While Yoon et al. (2016) and Margolin and Gordis (2004) focused more on the different levels of victimization of PTS symptoms and upbringing of the child, Hornor (2005) uncovers a deeper biological level to explain why victims of PTS exhibit increased arousal also are associated with PTSD. Data gathered from secondary sources suggest that if a fetus is subject to physical violence during pregnancy it increases the risk of outcomes such as antepartum haemorrhage, preterm labour, or fetal loss. Which links domestic violence and low birth weight as a serious consequence of physical abuse, that can be caused by abdominal trauma resulting in placental damage, uterine contractions, or premature rupture of membranes (Hornor, 2005). Infants who continue to live in a violent household tend to have disrupted sleeping and feeding patterns, which can result in additional poor weight gain after they have already been born. If the mother chooses to stay in an abusive home knowing the physical harm that the child must endure, it can negatively affect mother-child bonding (Hornor, 2005).
The first step required to prevent child abuse is for the issue to become a public awareness project, both Hornor (2005) and Margolin and Gordis (2004) provides solutions to combat such acts from reoccurring in the household. One of the most important steps needed to prevent child abuse is to educate parents because they typically underestimate their children’s exposure to violence and may even be unaware of abuse in the home since abuse is such a subjective platform. Margolin and Gordis (2004) believe that children’s exposure to violence frequently goes unnoticed and unattended by their parents and by professionals who work with children. Thus, the professionals have a responsibility to remain educated in screening for domestic violence in children and mothers using their judgement to intervene when possible to reduce violence occurring in the home, as stated by (Hornor, 2005). Study findings in Yoon et al, (2016) point to the need for implementing targeted treatment and interventions for PTS symptoms among children who witness violence or experience violence victimization in the home to help prevent and reduce internalizing behavior problems interventions should aim at reducing the violence occurring in the home. Family interventions, such as couple’s therapies or parent–child therapies that focus on a joint effort between family members, may be more effective and beneficial in attenuating children’s behavior problems than interventions (Yoon et al, 2016).
Child abuse has always existed in our society. It is only now that we are becoming aware of it and the ugly consequences it carries. While there is not solid causation statistics to prove that the exposure to violence as a child has negative impacts, scientists are able to gather data that demonstrations the correlation between PTS symptoms and home environment. The overall field of study in relation to child exposure to violence is still new and considered a progressing subject, therefore there remain many unanswered questions. Solutions are available. They just need support from child-rights agencies and from the government.