Toxic or unhealthy relationships can be very harmful to people's physical and emotional health. Sadly, people don't always recognize something as abusive. They can also be scared to leave this type of relationship because of the threat to their safety, or they are holding out hope that things will change.
Because of the complicated reasons why people stay in them, abusive relationships are typically very difficult to leave. However, a recent study revealed findings that could be powerful motivation for parents to get out of an abusive relationship.
The risks of being a witness to parental abuse
If you have children and are in an abusive relationship, know that witnessing abuse can be just as harmful to a child's mental well-being as being directly abused.
This comes from recent research showing the various and devastating ways witnessing abuse affects children. And even when they cannot see it, like when a baby is in utero, the child can experience a host of troubling health problems. This includes:
- Premature delivery
- Injuries to an unborn child
- Greater incidence of bodily inflammation
- Generally poorer health
- Greater likelihood of depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Changes in a child's brain structure and circuits
- Reduction in learning capabilities
In other words, a child does not have to be the victim of abuse to suffer consequences. Understanding this can give victims another reason to leave an abusive relationship; it can also provide powerful motivation for abusive parties to seek help.
An important reason to leave
It can undoubtedly be scary to leave an abusive partner. However, there are resources in place to make it easier and safer. This includes safe housing, medical care and legal measures in the form of orders for protection.
Domestic violence is a troubling issue that is far too pervasive across Tennessee. However, parents can protect themselves and their children by preventing exposure to abusive situations. And getting help sooner rather than later can help stop the cycle of abuse.