Domestic Violence Map Megan HolmesIn a recent article in the Maple Heights News, Domestic violence exists in every neighborhood, a map created by Professor Megan R. Holmes, PhD, in conjunction with Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center debunked the myth that domestic violence only happens in inner city Cleveland neighborhoods and highlighted how underreported the crime is.

The Silent Survivors Map displays the rate of domestic violence incidents projected per household for each suburb in Cuyahoga County in 2011, following the research statistics. Although factors such as poverty may increase the risk factor, suburban residents can, and do, suffer the same trauma and harm as residents in inner city neighborhoods. Research and statistics indicate that residents in the Cleveland suburbs of Westlake, North Olmsted, Strongsville and Cleveland Heights should have a much higher rate of domestic violence than is being reported.

The foundation of Dr. Holmes’ research is her clinical experience with families from domestic violence households. Her 2013 study, “The sleeper effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) exposure: long-term consequences on young children’s aggressive behavior,” examined aggression in school-age children who as toddlers witnessed violence between their mothers and partners. Holmes said researchers know the impact of recent exposure to violence, but little information has been available about the long-term effect from the early years of life. To her knowledge, she said her study is the first to look at the effect of early exposure to domestic violence and its impact on the development of social behavior. Between three and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence each year, according the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.

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