Domestic abuse continues after report in half of cases
In over 50 percent of domestic abuse or child abuse cases reported to VeiligThuis, the home situation was still unsafe 18 months after the report, the Verwey-Jonker Institute reported on Thursday after a multi-year investigation. In only 30 percent of cases, the violence stopped completely 18 months later, NU.nl reports.
Verwey-Jonker Institute scientific director Majone Steketee called this very concerning, given the long-term effects abusive situations can have on children. The chronic stress structurally changes a child's perception, can cause physical changes like affecting the metabolism, and affects the formation in the brain such as memory and reaction patterns.
This can lead to victims of domestic violence struggling with trauma complaints, attachment problems, and emotional security. It can also result in victims also committing domestic violence when they have children of their own. "The violence can continue for generations," Steketee said. "That is why it is important to help the whole family: the parents and the children."
According to the researchers, the families need long-term and specialist aid. Only once the violence has completely stopped will a family's situation improve.
91 percent of children involved in cases reported to VeiligThuis experience abuse, neglect, or violence between their parents. The study showed that 50 percent of children said they did not get any help. 30 percent said they experienced support from those around them.
"The fact that violence stopped in 30 percent of the families is a good result compared to previous measurements,' Steketee said. "But to get families out of the vicious circle of violence, customization and an integrated approach are still necessary."