Watching mom beaten or raped is terror. Homeless mothers and children are many times more likely to be assaulted and molested.
Children of addicted and alcoholic moms and dads are beaten and raped more often too.
Trauma is *torture. Watching mom being raped is torture.
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
Decades of medical studies, statistics about ACEs and childhood trauma make clear that exposure to violence in the home impacts a child forever.
The damage of domestic violence to children resonates for a lifetime. It is not just the damage done to this generation of children growing up in this home.
It is the damage done to the generations that follow. Epigenetics is gene expression and traumatizing behaviors are repeated from generation to generation. This sad reality is both biological and learned.
It is painful and stunning to me that my community appears clueless as to why teacher turnover, school failure and dropout rates are so high, why 90% of the youth in the juvenile justice system have come through child protection systems and why 2/3 of the kids in juvenile justice have diagnosable mental illness and half of these youth have multiple, serious and chronic conditions,
My troubled state ward children do so much damage and cause so much pain to themselves and the people of my community (then they grow up and do it again).
How can we fail to see the many millions of dollars and decades violence and state ward living my kids live plus the terror they visit on the rest of us.
These things are clear to me. One directly follows the other.
Until those of us who know and care stand up to make the changes required to heal these children and assist them in acquiring the learning and coping skills necessary to leading normal lives we are all stuck here.
To expect a sexually active or drug using state ward child to unlearn a lifetime of bad behavior and fit into the average foster or adoptive home is impractical and painful to all involved.
We speak of the opioid crisis, homelessness and the impact of alcoholism on families but fail to grasp the forever destructive impact abuse and violence has on a child.
An 8-year-old unlearning sexual behavior, drug use or maniacal screaming violence (and yes, that is a thing) almost never happens without a serious effort from an outside community.
Thirty years ago, a child protection case could be opened in MN in cases where a child watched mom being beaten or raped.
Legislators understood that violent behaviors traumatize and forever impact a child.
Child protection cases doubled and no additional funding for child protection from legislators meant that the old interpretation of abuse would be reinstated.
The lack of transparency, underreporting and lack of media attention given to the invisible children living in these toxic homes means kids will watch their mothers beaten & raped for now.
Don’t expect better school performance, less crime or happier communities without ending domestic violence and the terror and abuse children are living with.
Contact Safe Passages for MN Children and make your voice heard at the Statehouse this year (do it now or you won’t).
*The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”.