I chose to write about family violence because it affects so many families and their loved ones. Some people may think that it just affects those that are involved, when it really affects everyone that may come into contact with the individuals. Sometimes they may shut down or withdraw from people and that can affect their entire social circle. Family violence can also teach children to have violent ways and grow up to hurt other people because that is what they grew up seeing and they begin to think that is the way to grow up. You also have those that grow up knowing that violence is not right and they stay away from it. It is estimated that family violence is prevalent in 3-4 million American homes. If 2.5 children are living in each home, that’s at least 7.5 million children learning violence every year, either as a spectator or participant. Children who live in a home where abuse occurs are always affected by it. Research indicates that abuse in a family may be the single most important risk factor for child maltreatment. The rate of child abuse or serious neglect in a home where domestic violence stand a greater chance of experiencing neglect and more than half are physically abused themselves. Children don’t need to see the abuse to be affected by it. It is obvious that children who are abused suffer a great deal; however, children who witness abuse are similarly affected. Children also see the consequences of the abuse after it has occurred. They may observe bruises, torn clothes, broken objects, splintered furniture, holes punched in walls, swollen faces, and puffy eyes. They perceive the tension and fear of the abuser and do not feel safe. Directly or indirectly witnessing the abuse can significantly inhibit the children’s physical, cognitive, psychological and social development. Impressive data demonstrate that children who live in a battering relationship experience the most insidious form of child abuse. Whether or not they are physically abused by either parent is less important than the psychological scars they bear from watching their fathers beat their mothers. (Lenore Walker) Because early relationships are the basis for all later relationships experiences, stress associated with violence at an early age may be problematic for a child’s later development. Evidence suggests that for many children, involvement in aggression and violence as early as age 3 or 4 sets a life course for later violence and criminal activity. Among preschoolers who witnessed abuse, researchers found signs of terror as evidence by the children’s yelling, irritable behavior, hiding and shaking and stuttering. They often experience insomnia, sleepwalking, nightmares and bedwetting.