Children

Children are also adversely affected by exposure to IPV. Between 3.3 and 10 million children are exposed to IPV each year in the United States (Edelson, 1999). Exposure may be directly witnessing physical abuse, emotional abuse, or the sequelae of such abuse without viewing the violent acts. As a result of IVP, children may experience significant physical and behavioral symptoms acutely and throughout life, including somatic complaints, violence, substance abuse, and psychiatric illness (e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD) (FVPF, 2009). When IPV is detected, the physician should decide if the children should be referred to child-focused mental health services. Furthermore, up to 60% of children exposed to IPV are themselves directly abused (Edelson, 1999). Physicians who detect IPV should be alert for child abuse and aware of mandatory reporting laws (see later Documentation and Reporting of IPV).

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