To provide an overview of the analysis and structure of the writing, this article explores impacts of Domestic Violence DV on Joan and her children Jessica, 10 years and Ryan 4 years. Joan is obviously suffering the effects of DV. WHO, (2000) states the internalized behaviors of anxiety and depression interestingly consist of what Joan is going through. Clearly she feels fear for her and her children. It is evident she is trying to self-medicate her mental health problems by using alcohol, thus she has a Dual diagnosis.
Undoubtedly she is incapable of looking after her children at this time and moment. Davies, (1998) agrees, In addition she probably has financial and social risk around how she will seek accommodation and money to feed the children. Despite attempted intervention from the school Joan lacks supervision and monitoring duties with the children. Family liason officer visit outcome would reflect Joan is neglectful in her parenting as she is not demanding and responsive of her children.
This is reflected through poor school attendance, evidence of unkempt appearance and no food for lunch which is linked with behavioral problems (Carroll, 2011) and poor attainment (Sheppard, 2009). It is possible Ryan’s withdrawal might be a cause of scarce parental care. Joan’s neglect to meet her child’s basic psychological and physical needs will probably cause severe impairment of Ryan’s health and development (WHO, 2000). Undeniably she has decided to socially exclude her and her children.
Kurst- Swanger & Petcosky (2003), explain she has drifted away emotionally and physically from other family, friends and the surrounding community in whom she resided with in order to prevent shame of her interactions and to survive silently with her children. Undoubtedly the children witnessing dv of their mother has undeniably had a harmful impact on them. This is evidently reflected, by poor school attendance and unkempt physical appearance. Unfortunately Jessica has taken on the mother role.
Failure of Joan to recognize when she requires support is what places her at bigger risk of experiencing such disturbing and indeed clinical behaviors. Clearly Jessica has tried to cope and be optimistic but playing the parent role seems like a overwhelming burden of comforting her mother and preparing her and her brother ready for school. Mc Gee, (2000) explains that continuous reminder of Jessica comforting and consolidating her distressed mother every night has probably started to make her anxious and fearful of when the violence may next occur signaling the child’s lack of control.
Data analysis reflects that regular or continuous exposure to dv can have severe impact on child’s emotional wellbeing and development and may cause severe anxiety and distress (Department of Health, 2006). Ryans and Jessicas depression may start from their insignificance, their feeling of powerlessness, their silence and their feelings of blame for being unable to protect their mother. Feelings of helplessness for Jessica has increased her emotional and psychological suffering considering she has no close internal or external supports at the moment.
For Ryan this stems from Initiative vs Guilt developmental stage. Ryan is silent and withdrawn, probably he would have learnt not being outspoken is the preferable way to avoid her mothers dv abuse. Lieberman, (2000) claims this can be learnt visually by associative learning means or verbally. For example if the children witness mother being repeatedly violated by the father, there are two responses: the mother remains quiet and does not respond to the consequence and perhaps father will cease dv to mother, atmosphere might be settled.
Second response, if Joan has volatile reaction were she is crying and screaming there is a high possibility that the father will continue to violate her. As a result the child associates and learns that being overt emotional and loud will make domestic violence of mother inevitable so the Child may become quiet and withdrawn to avoid or reduce violence. Hence his psychological and emotional wellbeing are both negatively impacted by dv. There might be a possibility that Ryan might be withdrawn due to separation with his father. Ryan might have a good relationship with his father.
At the moment he might be missing a male role figure in his life. McGee, (2000) and Abrahams, (1994) highlights that childrens role models (father) significantly influences moods and behaviors. A couple of notions taken for granted is, focus on dv has traditionally been on the primary victim of violence Joan, which arguably ignores the secondary victims Jessica and Ryan. Probably the exposure of dv as a form of child abuse is yet to gain full recognition. It should be understood that regardless if the children have directly been abused or have witnessed the violence subsequently it has similar negative impact on the child.
Issue of concern is the father aware of what is going on? When someone is suffering from dual diagnosis (Joan) thoughts of endangering themselves as well as significant others close to them are prevalent thus this could be a concern why to get in contact with father. Another issue of concern is mental and physical wellbeing of the children. Furthermore mental wellbeing and malnourishment is a significant a issue here. CONFRONT Before starting this case study I did not realize the number of mothers and children that were impacted by dv and the different influences dv had on their lives.
Thus I was highly confronted by statistics revealing widespread exposure to DV in children. It would be confronting for Joan to think that her children are not negatively impacted by dv, perhaps she might consider the children to be too young to recognize or understand what is occurring. In contrast the children are clearly aware and significantly impacted by dv. This is reflected through when Joan discloses to the liason officer that she is worried about her mother as she is scared that her father may come back and hurt her again. Seeley and Plunkett, (2002) elaborate that this shows the children are clearly being exposed to dv.
Furthermore Seeley and Plunkett, (2002) claim Joan is unable to respond to her children’s needs because of the bearing it is having on her. As a result this influences on their emotional adjustments as well as future, were they might copy the violent behavior and identify it as being normal.. Challenging issue in relation to the abusive father is dv has been usually viewed as a private problem and thus not stated as a criminal offence. Seeley and Plunkett, (2002) claim its prevalence has been problematic to amount, as the incidence’s are geographical in all regions of Australia including all socioeconomically and cultural groups.
Thus it is clearly evident both the mother and Jessica are distressed and fearful of the father re-attempting to abuse the mother again. Question that arises is why aren’t necessary measures taken to avoid this??? To a lesser extent the Violence Protection Act, (2008) tries to justify this by claiming they maximize safety for adults and children who have significantly encountered family violence to a greater extent and promote accountability of offenders of dv for their actions. Unfortunately this is not being implemented as Jessica still has continued increased fear of father re-abusing her mother.
On the other hand Joan might have just kept it a private matter thus this is a difficult challenge of understanding her struggle, distress, hesitation plus not knowing which way to go, especially if she still loves and has strong positive feelings for the husband. An ethical dilemma in this setting is of safeguarding Joan and the children, thus having to make a difficult decision to where I might have to break confidentiality. Additional ethical worry is that I as the liason officer might not have inadequate knowledge and experience to handle the complexity of the issue.
As supervision is a constant requirement for Social workers, I would immediately act on it to have my performance monitored to ensure accountability for practice. Honestly if it was my first initial go in treating a dv victim I would encounter immense problem in presenting to her a non- judgmental stance, as her experience may oppose with my point of view which could possibly hinder her treatment. Another concern, which I agree with Pierce, (2009) is when victims are exposed through physical psychological, emotional abuse this may greatly extend far beyond the overt exploitation of power imbalances.
To seek further explanation of Joanand her children exposure to dv Social learning theory and and Attachment theory will assist in unpacking in the theorize section. THEORISE. To further grasp this case study Social learning theory is commonly related to understanding the impact of dv on Jessica and Ryan as it implies that we learn to be aggressive by witnessing aggression in other individuals therefore Bandura, (1973) adds that, beings brought up in violent households with violent role models will attain aggressive behaviors.
Bandura, (1973) also explains the behavior of the parents plays a significant role in molding the children’s behavior as been learned and strengthened in their upbringing indirectly or directly and passed on to their parenthood as socialized means of managing conflict resolution. In reaction to the case study social behaviors of Joan in the family include excessive alcohol consumption, anxiety and depression, hence these behaviors are likely to be displayed by children because of their (biological, psychological and emotional) attachment, and due to isolation as they have not had the opportunity to learn other behaviors.
Social learning can be also practical by witnessing an actual activity and observing what it accomplishes which is also known as associative learning. For instance young people and children who suppress their behaviors might do so because they are aware from relationship of parents, that if the mother reflects being withdrawn and silent dv is unlikely to occur. Joan clearly is suffering the effects of dv. WHO, (2000) claims, intriguingly a mother encountering dv often goes through internalized behaviors of social withdrawal, depression and anxiety.
According to the Home Office, (2001) 75% of dv incidents for women result in mental health concerns. Hence these behaviors aren’t startling relative to the physical and emotional harm dv might trigger. Mother may be distressed of when the father may next violate her causing anxiety. Depression may arise from negative feelings and thoughts, and remove hope and confidence that mother and her children can get out of the abusive household. As a result they socially exclude themselves to avoid embarrassment, being questioned and being shamed.