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Domestic violence can affect children’s relationships, psychological development

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A Psychologist, Precious Yusuf has warned that children, who witness domestic violence over a long period of time can be affected psychologically.

Yusuf made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

According to her, exposing children to any form of violence against another person, especially the one involving the father to the mother, among others can affect the child’s psychological development and how they relate with people.

She added that the children may even inculcate similar traits, which they feel was normal due to their exposure to domestic violence, which could eventually be passed down to their children.

“ These children might end up becoming apprehensive, anxious and exhibit some stubborn traits that can affect their development and relationships with others in the future.

“Some of these children grow up feeling very angry at everyone and every little thing, and they try to use force, physical strength or violence as the only way to express themselves.’’

“Others become so withdrawn, quiet and even isolate themselves from any activity, which eventually affect their academic performance,’’ she said.

According to Yusuf, children who are exposed to violence have higher risks of engaging in juvenile delinquency, drug abuse and other criminal behaviour.

She appealed to members of the public, especially parents to promote peace in the home, display good morals for the children to emulate as well as ensure they were properly trained.

Mr Fidelis Turaki, a teacher said children who were exposed to domestic violence always exhibited poor anger management, depression and other problems in school.

“A child that is exposed to domestic violence always exhibit some tendencies in school such as engaging in fights, being unable to control anger, distraction and inability to concentrate, as well as having difficulty participating in academic work.’’

Another teacher, Mrs Aisha Mohammed appealed to parents to resolve their differences in an amicable manner, as well as monitor the kind of movies, songs and books their children were exposed to.

“Children imitate what they see, hear and read. Even if the children are not exposed to domestic violence at home, there is violence that can occur anywhere, even in the neighbourhood, schools, and relatives houses.

“So, it is very important to monitor the kind of materials and people your children interact with, because they influence who they eventually become in life, ’’ she said.

Miss Joy Shuaibu, an undergraduate decried the effects of domestic violence on children, which she said affected their relationship with other people.

“Exposure to domestic violence as a child affected my social relationship, as well as my academic works. I had to go through serious counselling in Church to be able to be who I am, and where I am today.’’

Shuaibu, also stressed the need for establishment of guidance and counselling unit in primary schools to be able to assist victims of abuse to mingle well in the society as well as reduce its effects on their personality and development.

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