About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Adopted Child Abuse, The Domestically Violent Adoptive Home


Adopted Child Abuse

The Abused Adopted Child

The Domestically Violent Adoptive Home   __________________________________________

The Cycle of Domestic Violence

The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship. Each phase may last a different length of time and over time the level of violence may increase.
It often refers to violent behavior learned as a child and then repeated as an adult, therefore continuing on in a perceived cycle
Effects of domestic violence on children, result from witnessing domestic violence in a home where one of their parents are abusing the other parent, plays a tremendous role on the well being and developmental growth of children witnessing the violence. In 2009 in the Philippines, it was estimated that as many as 7 to 14 million children were exposed to domestic violence with about 3.3 million children exposed to domestic violence in their homes every year.
Children who witness domestic violence in the home often believe that they are to blame, live in a constant state of fear and are 15 times more likely to be victims of child abuse. Close observation during an interaction can alert providers to the need for further investigation and intervention, such as dysfunctions in physical, behavioral and social areas of life, and can aid in early intervention and assistance for child victims.

Symptoms children may have while witnessing 

Physical symptoms

In general, children who witness domestic violence in the home can suffer a tremendous amount of physical symptoms along with their emotional and behavioral state of despair. These children may complain of general aches and pain, such as headaches and stomach aches. They may also have irritable and irregular bowel habits, cold sores, and they may have problems with bed wetting. These complaints have been associated with depressive disorders in children, a common emotional effect of domestic violence. Along with these general complaints of not feeling well, children who witness domestic violence may also appear nervous, as previously mentioned, and have short attention spans. These children display some of the same symptoms as children who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. On the reverse, these children may show symptoms of fatigue and constant tiredness. They may fall asleep in school due to the lack of sleep at home. Much of their night may be spent listening to or witnessing violence within the home. Children of domestic violence victims are frequently ill, and suffer from poor personal hygiene. Children who witness domestic violence also have a tendency to partake in high risk play activities, self-abuse, and suicide.


Infant children who are present in the home where domestic violence occurs often fall victim to being "caught in the crossfire." They may suffer physical injuries from unintentional trauma as their parent is battered. Infants may be inconsolable and irritable, have a lack of responsiveness secondary to lacking the emotional and physical attachment to their mother, suffer from developmental delays, and have excessive diarrhea  from both trauma and stress.

Older children

Physical effects of witnessing domestic violence in older children are less evident than behavioral and emotional effects. The trauma that children experience when they witness domestic violence in the home, plays a major role in their development and physical well being. The children, however, will exhibit physical symptoms associated with their behavioral or emotional problems, such as being withdrawn from those around them, becoming non-verbal, and exhibiting regressed behaviors such as being clingy and whiney. Anxiety often accompanies a physical symptom in children who witness domestic violence in the home. These children harbor feelings of guilt, blame, and are constantly on edge. They may startle at the smallest things, such as a car door slamming or a glass cup accidentally falling to the floor. If their anxiety progresses to more physical symptoms, they may show signs of tiredness from lack of sleep and weight and nutritional changes from poor eating habits.

Behavioral symptoms

Children exposed to domestic violence are likely to develop behavioral problems, such as regressing, exhibiting out of control behavior, and imitating behaviors. Children may think that violence is an acceptable behavior of intimate relationships and become either the abused or the abuser. Some warning signs are bed-wetting, nightmares, distrust of adults, acting tough, having problems becoming attached to other people and isolating themselves from their close friends and family. Another behavioral response to domestic violence may be that the child may lie in order to avoid confrontation and excessive attention getting.
Adolescents are in jeopardy of academic failure, school drop-out, and substance abuse.
Their behavior is often guarded and secretive about their family members and they may become embarrassed about their home situation. Adolescents generally don't like to invite friends over and they spend their free time away from home. Denial and aggression are their major forms of problem solving. Teens cope with domestic violence by blaming others, encountering violence in a relationship, or by running away from home.

Emotional symptoms

Children exposed to violence in their home often have conflicting feelings towards their parents; For instance, distrust and affection often coexist for the abuser. The child becomes overprotective of the victim and feels sorry for them.
They often develop anxiety, fearing that they may be injured or abandoned, that the child's parent being abused will be injured, or that they are to blame for the violence that is occurring in their homes. Grief, shame and low self esteem are common emotions that children exposed to domestic violence experience.

Social symptoms

Children exposed to domestic violence frequently do not have the foundation of safety and security that is normally provided by the family. The children experience a desensitization to aggressive behavior, poor anger management and problem solving skills, and learn to engage in exploitative relationships.
  • Symptoms include isolation from friends and relatives in an effort to stay close to siblings and victimized parent.
  • The adolescent may display these symptoms by joining a gang or becoming involved in dating relationships that mimic the learned behavior.
Children exposed to domestic violence require a safe nurturing environment and the space and respect to progress at their own pace. The caretaker should provide reassurance and an increase sense of security by providing explanations and comfort for the things that worry the children, like loud noises. The children should develop and maintain positive contact with extended family members to maintain normalcy.
Children exposed to domestic violence at infancy often experience an inability to bond and form secure attachments, often resulting in intensified startle reactions and an inhibited sense of exploration and play.
Children may portray a wide range of reactions to the exposure of domestic violence in their home. The preschool and kindergarten child does not understand the meaning of the abuse and may believe they did something wrong, this self-blame may cause the child feelings of guilt, worry, and anxiety.  Younger children do not have the ability to express their feelings verbally and these emotions can cause behavioral problems. They may become withdrawn, non-verbal, and have regressed behaviors such as clinging and whining. Other common behaviors for a child being a victim of domestic violence are eating and sleeping difficulty, and concentration problems.
 Preschoolers living with violence internalize the learned gender roles associated with victimization, for instance seeing males as perpetrators and females as victims. This symptom presents itself as the preschooler imitating learned behaviors of intimidation and abuse. The preschooler may present with aggressive behavior, lashing out, defensive behavior, or extreme separation anxiety from the primary caregiver.
Statistics show that a child who witnesses violence between their parents or guardian is more likely to carry on violent behaviors in their own adult lives. “Even when child witnesses do not suffer physical injury, the emotional consequences of viewing or hearing violent acts are severe and long-lasting. In fact, children who witness violence often experience many of the same symptoms and lasting effects as children who are victims of violence themselves, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”. Also in the article Breaking the Cycle of Violence “it is clearly in the best interest of the child and criminal justice system to handle child victims and witnesses in the most effective and sensitive manner possible. A number of studies have found the following: reducing the number of interviews of children can minimize psychological harm to child victims (Tedesco & Schnell, 1987); testifying is not necessarily harmful to children if adequate preparation is conducted (Goodman et al., 1992; Oates et al., 1995; Whitcomb, Goodman, Runyon, and Hoak, 1994); and, having a trusted person help the child prepare for court and be with the child when he or she testified reduced the anxiety of the child (Henry, 1997). 

Dual exposure

It is important to note that children exposed to domestic violence are more at risk for other forms of maltreatment such as physical abuse and neglect. Research suggests that parents who are violent with one another are at higher risk for physically abusing their children. Recent research has proposed that the consequences of child abuse and domestic violence exposure are often similar and mimic one another. Children who are abused and exposed to domestic violence exhibit emotional, psychological, and behavioral consequences that are almost identical to one another. In fact, some researchers refers to this dual exposure as the "double whammy" effect because children are receive double exposure to traumatic events and thus react twofold to the abuse and exposure to domestic violence. Emotionally children who experience the "double whammy" effect can exhibit fear, guilt, isolation, and low self-esteem. Additional psychological outcomes for these children include depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children who experience dual exposure to both physical abuse and domestic violence possess more behavioral problems than those who experience only one or the other.
The long term effects of dual exposure in young children can have very negative outcomes later in life. These outcomes have been documented as leading to behavioral problems including: school dropout, violence, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, eating disorders, and even suicide attempts. A study following children from preschool through adolescence found that young children exposed to domestic violence and child abuse were more likely to experience anti-social behaviors in their adolescence. Young children exposed to both domestic violence and child abuse were also more likely to commit an assault and participate in delinquent behavior in their adolescence than those not exposed at all. Lastly, the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) found a connection between multiple categories of childhood trauma (e.g., child abuse, household dysfunction including domestic violence, and child neglect) and health/behavioral outcomes later in life. The more traumas a child was exposed to, the greater risk for disabilities, social problems and adverse health outcomes. More recently, researchers have used elements of this model to continue analysis into different aspects of trauma and stressful experiences and later development.