Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence Among Children and Youth
(with the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria)

 

This research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, examined the costs and impacts of exposure to intimate partner violence among children and youth. The research was shared at a launch event in June 2014 and published in October 2014 in a special issue of the International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studiesentitled ‘In Harm’s Way, A Special Issue on the Impacts and Costs of Witnessing Intimate Partner Violence.’

 

A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON THE IMPACT OF EXPOSURE TO INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Sibylle Artz, Margaret A Jackson, Katherine R Rossiter, Alicia Nijdam-Jones, István Géczy, Sheila Porteous

Children living in homes where intimate partner violence occurs are often exposed to such violence through witnessing, seeing its effects, hearing about it, or otherwise being made aware that violence is taking place between parents or caregivers. Exposure to intimate partner violence is considered to be a form of child maltreatment, and affected children are often also the victims of targeted child abuse. This paper presents findings from a comprehensive review of the literature on the impact of exposure to intimate partner violence for children and youth, focusing on: (a) neurological disorders; (b) physical health outcomes; (c) mental health challenges; (d) conduct and behavioural problems; (e) delinquency, crime, and victimization; and (f) academic and employment outcomes. The notion of cascading effects informed our framework and analysis as it became evident that the individual categories of impacts were not only closely related to one another, but in a dynamic fashion also influence each other in multiple and interconnected ways over time. The research reviewed clearly shows that children who are exposed to intimate partner violence are at significant risk for lifelong negative outcomes, and the consequences are felt widely in society.

 

BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF CHILDREN’S EXPOSURE TO INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
Martin A Andresen, Shannon J Linning

Intimate partner violence comprises 37% of violent crime in Canada, imposing significant economic costs on society. Childhood exposure to intimate partner violence is a well-documented phenomenon, but the resulting costs are less understood. Some research has found that children exposed to intimate partner violence are at a greater risk of developing health and behavioural problems that potentially impact these children as well as society as a whole. However, there is no known estimate of the economic costs of this exposure to intimate partner violence. In this paper, we develop a simple model to estimate these costs. We estimate that each year there are approximately 125,000 new children exposed to intimate partner violence generating a yearly economic cost to society of $759 million for that one cohort of children in Canada. Over a period of 10 years, this one cohort would impose an economic cost of $7.0 billion, and this is substantially underestimated because it does not include the new sets of children exposed to intimate partner violence each year. As such, the potential for societal economic cost savings resulting from the prevention of intimate partner violence is significant.

 

Infographic on the Impacts and Costs of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence for Children and Youth, created by Hannah (BC Society of Transition Houses).

IPV-Exposure-Infographic

 

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