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Domestic violence has been an alarming and destructive feature of our society for decades, but only recently has there been significant public recognition of this injurious practice. Traumatic and considered one of the most life-threatening public health concerns, domestic violence affects not only adult partners but also any children present in the relationship. Studies clearly indicate that children suffer serious emotional, psychological, social, behavioural, and developmental consequences when exposed to aggression and violence within the family home.

Family violence, domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence  has been defined as a pattern of behaviour that is used to gain or maintain power over an intimate partner, and includes behaviours that frighten, intimidate, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. It includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, threats, and economic manipulation or deprivation. Domestic violence is a complex weave of factors involving parents, children, and often extended family members, but attention has primarily been focused on the adult victims or perpetrators, with little recognition afforded the children who are exposed to and witness the abuse...

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Karen Ferry has been a teacher for over 30 years in both primary and secondary classrooms, and has worked extensively for distance education students assisting in the development of curriculum and activity-based programs. She is a Master of Counselling candidate at the University of Queensland.

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