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Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

When we talk about the victims of domestic violence, we're not just talking about grown men and women. The children who witness the violence are also victims.

While these kids may not be physically harmed, they are suffering just as much because of the traumatic incidents they've witnessed.

\"Kids are caught in the middle of a storm,\" said Carmen Petrie the Executive Director of Sojourner Family Peace Center.

A storm that for some children seems to never end.

\"I've worked with kids who have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from watching their mother or father being abused,\" said Professional Counselor Danika Berczy.

It is very traumatic and they tend to relive that experience over and over again,\" said Berczy.

She told CBS 58 that teachers and family members should pay close attention to children they believe are growing up in hostile environments.

\"They could be showing symptoms at school such as headaches, stomach aches, not being able to sleep well,\" said Berczy.

Children can also become aggressive. \"Making their dolls fight each other a lot, saying things like 'she choked her' or things you shouldn't hear a child say. Older children will exhibit it in different ways, they may self harm,\" said Berczy.

Petrie said children who grow up with violence learn to accept it.

\"They are learning that violence is a way to solve problems and that is how you treat someone you love,\" said Petrie.

She said the Sojourner Family Peace Center helps those families and children. Their number for the 24-hour-hotline 414-933-2722.
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