Published: 29th August 2020
The answer to violence: How abuse leaves an impact on young, impressionable minds
The Coach examines instances of domestic abuse, violence and the various impacts it can have on young, impressionable children. It is a two-part series, read on to find out what he has to say
On August 24, a child sent me a query saying, “My dad is beating my mom, and sometimes me. I have a three-year-old sister who sees this. This has been going on for many years. What should I do?” Every Week, I keep scouring all over to write about the most interesting takeaways from current affairs and present situations or even take up a very interesting question posed to me by some of you. But once in a while, I receive a question that has me shell-shocked too and sends a CHILL down my spine! Well, today’s question is exactly one like that!
I HAVE to begin by appreciating this kid who’s more worried about his three-year-old kid sister’s EXPOSURE to this domestic abuse and violence, rather than be worried about his own well being… LOVE really makes us become SUPERHEROES in our own right and look at how funny nature is sometimes, the one being abused actually wants to protect another from the same abuse! Commendable! Truly! Why is it important to SHIELD children from Domestic Abuse/Violence?
Children are KEEN OBSERVERS but VERY POOR INTERPRETERS. Exposure to any form of abuse or Violence SCARS their personality FOREVER and alters their psychological system. These implications lead to such challenging complications that it sometimes becomes IMPOSSIBLE to FUNCTION ADEQUATELY in our society, once they become adults. The simple reason being, the formation of BELIEF SYSTEMS which AREN’T TRUE in reality. Here are some examples that I can share, right off the bat.
1. SUBMISSIVE = SURVIVAL: Exposure to the above often makes these children FORCEFULLY ‘fly under the radar’ or avoid CONFLICTS as they feel avoiding confrontation will NOT lead to such similar situations and is the WAY TO GO. Temporarily YES! but it makes them focus on becoming SUBMISSIVE to avoid conflict which eventually leads them to become ABUSED/EXPLOITED in a different way by making them become a PUSHOVER. They also find it difficult to say NO as they innately FEAR that irritating or angering anyone will lead to extremely violent and abusive consequences. This is also one of the BIGGEST REASONS children develop the HABIT OF LYING as they fear the worst!
2. VIOLENT PEOPLE = POWERFUL: When they constantly witness domestic abuse or violence, children (being impressionable as they are) tend to develop a belief that a person can GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING or is UNTOUCHABLE if they are VIOLENT. This is what happens in the many illustrated cases of an ABUSEE becoming an ABUSER in their adult lives.
3. HURTING OTHERS = GLORY: Though contrary to point 1, this also tends to happen sometimes as the effects of this kind of exposure is usually in the extremes. Children misinterpret the sense of ACHIEVEMENT and establish a belief system that dictates that violent behaviour is crucial to establish control and establishing control is what makes them successful. Simply put, it pushes them towards becoming UNKNOWING DICTATORS.
To be continued next week
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj