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The Effects of Domestic Violence on Adolescents

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The following is one of my closest friend's Sadiya's, most vivid memories of hearing her mother being abused by her father at a young age. She was about eleven or twelve years old when the sound of loud screaming awoke her during the middle of the night:

"I must have been at least eleven years old when I remember literally waking up at like three in the morning. We lived in a two family house. My parents had the whole first floor to their self and my four siblings and I had the second floor to our self. I just remember hearing my mother screaming for help, but my siblings and I were so young all we could do was scream for our father to 'stop' from the top of the staircase because we were all terrified of him being angered even more; that maybe he would do some serious harm. I don't even know why he would be mad. My mother was always a soft spoken person, so it couldn't have been anything she might have said. He would just always come home angry for no apparent reason. Something I still don't understand how or why 'till this day. It's funny, you'd have thought that I would have heard the abuse when I was way younger, but I have older siblings that kept me from hearing it, which I sincerely do appreciate. "

Domestic violence occurs very often in homes and you may not even know it. I have known Sadiya for almost eight years now and in the beginning of our friendship, I've always wondered why she was so insecure, sensitive and never really spoke about her family. It wasn't until I found out that her parents were splitting at the age of 17, was she comfortable enough to tell me what was going on in her family life.

It is so easy for people to say, "It has to be something that happened in their childhood that they act this way." But what they don't realize is that that very sentence is absolutely true. I feel as though every little thing that occurs from when a child is an infant affects how they will behave and see life when they become adults. Fortunately, having such a wonderful friend as Sadiya, she let me interview her and write this paper based on how having an abusive father affected her as a young adolescent/young adult.

Sadiya was an excellent student in junior high school, a very bright and intelligent individual; outgoing and very social. But once she started noticing the abuse her mother would go through in her home, I noticed a change; a change only a close friend would notice. "It has been found that the effects of domestic violence on children and adolescents tend to make them aggressive and antisocial."(Goldsmith & Freyd 2005). She became way more aggressive, but a different type of aggressive; a protective-aggressive person. When someone would try to hurt her friends emotionally or physically she would always be there. Every time anyone would try to make me feel bad or if a girl attempted to get into a fight with me, Sadiya was always there to verbally abuse that person and even attempt to fight them for me. I found this to be an unusual characteristic in her, because she was usually the 'nice girl'. She probably started to act this way because she felt as though there was at least one person she cared about that she could protect, since she was unable to with her mother.

Even though she was a protective aggressive person, she had a very low self esteem. She would constantly call herself ugly even though everyone thought she was one of the prettiest girls in the class. Even when



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