Children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to create relationships for themselves where they are abused; else they often become abusers themselves.
This is because the cycle of violence often repeats throughout the generations in a family. A study published in Science Daily
recently shows that resilience was higher in children whose mothers were employed full time and they were less likely to develop PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from witnessing domestic violence.
If the child is less affected by domestic violence in the home, there is less likelihood that the children will carry on the cycle of violence in their lives either by being a victim of domestic violence or a perpetrator.
When the mother in a domestic violence family works full time she has more power and is therefore less likely to succumb to being victimized.
Often the victim won't leave because they don't feel empowered that they can support themselves either financially or emotionally. This allows the domestic violence to continue.
The key to ending domestic violence is to empower the victim, which is usually the woman or wife in the family, although in some cases it may be the man.
The truth is that the abusers are in a cycle as well. They feel abused themselves (and usually have been victims of abuse in their childhood) so they need to put others down in order to feel powerful (or even okay). They are usually cowards when they come up against someone more powerful. They have the angry outburst of abuse and then afterwards, they feel even worse about themselves because of what they have done.
Empowering women by helping them become employed full time in meaningful jobs, as this study shows, is an important step in rebalancing this imbalanced power structure that perpetuates domestic violence.
- Susan Quinn MFT