An Analysis of Current Australian Program Initiatives for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

By Kovacs, Katie; Tomison, Adam M. | Australian Journal of Social Issues, November 2003 | Go to article overview

An Analysis of Current Australian Program Initiatives for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence


Kovacs, Katie, Tomison, Adam M., Australian Journal of Social Issues


It is difficult to estimate precisely the number of children exposed to domestic violence. In a review of Victorians domestic violence legislation it was revealed that children under five years were present in: 65 per cent of domestic disputes involving the threat or use of a gun; in 79 per cent of disputes involving a weapon (usually a knife); and in almost two-thirds of disputes where property was damaged (Wearing 1992). While in a more recent survey of Australian youth, one quarter of young people sampled reported having 'witnessed' (1) an incident of physical domestic violence against their mother or step-mother (Indermaur 2001) (2). Such research highlights the size of the 'living with domestic violence' problem. Yet it is only quite recently that attention has begun to be paid to this issue.

Most domestic violence research and practice has focused primarily on the incidence of violence against women, with relatively little attention being paid to the plight of children who have been exposed to the violence (Smith, O'Connor & Berthelsen 1996; Sullivan, Bybee & Allen 2002). Similarly, the child protection and family support systems have, until recently, tended to overlook children who have been exposed to domestic violence in the mistaken belief that 'children are untouched by the chaos happening around them in the family home' and a belief that the absence of physical harm meant that no real harm had occurred (Blanchard 1993:31). Thus, children who live with domestic violence have been called the 'silent', 'forgotten', or 'invisible' victims of domestic violence (Osofsky 1998; Edleson 1999).

Throughout the 1990s however, there was increasing evidence of both the widespread nature of domestic violence and the serious impact that being exposed to violence may have on children and young people. Studies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia have produced substantial evidence to suggest that many children who have been exposed to domestic violence develop a variety of social and mental health problems as a result of their experiences (Bookless-Pratz & Mertin 1990; Mathias, Mertin & Murray 1995; Kolbo, Blakely & Engleman 1996; Henning, Leitenberg, Coffey, Bennett & Jankowski 1997; Osofsky 1998; Laumakis, Margolin & John 1998).

Further, while the majority of children who have been exposed to domestic violence do not participate in further family violence, research has identified an association between growing up in a violent family and subsequent involvement in violent adult relationships as either an offender or victim (for example, Edleson & Tolman 1992; Avakame, 1998; Markowitz 2001). Although the extent of the intergenerational transmission of violence attributed to exposure to domestic violence is not known, the best estimates put the extent of the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment, as a whole, at 30-37 per cent (Kaufman & Zigler 1987; Ryan, Davies & Oates 1977; all cited in Tomison & Poole 2000).

In recognition of the size and impact of the problem, children who have been exposed to domestic violence have recently become the target of research and therapeutic interventions across both the domestic violence and child protection/family support sectors. However, while knowledge about the impact of exposure to domestic violence has been increasing, and programs specifically aimed at supporting the children of battered women have begun to be documented, there is currently a paucity of information available about the nature and effectiveness of such interventions and their outcomes for children (Blanchard 1993; Carter, Weithorn & Behrman 1999, Graham-Bermann 2000).

In order to begin to address the knowledge 'gap' about interventions for children who have been exposed to domestic violence in Australia, data collected from a national audit of child abuse prevention programs (Tomison & Poole 2000) was analysed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Analysis of Current Australian Program Initiatives for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.