In a commentary published previously, we communicated our concern regarding the plight of children who witness violence.1 Research suggests that children who witness violence suffer significant psychologic and behavioral problems that interfere with their ability to function in school, at home, and with peers. The primary focus of that commentary was children who witnessed community violence. Our ongoing clinical experience, heightened by media attention on domestic violence, including the O.J. Simpson case, leads us to revisit silent victims with a sole focus on those children who witness domestic violence. Domestic violence is a particularly devastating event for a child who, in the presence of danger, typically turns to a parent for protection and for whom there is no comfort or security if one parent is the perpetrator of violence, and the other is a terrified victim.
- Received October 17, 1994.
- Accepted December 8, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics