, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 151-160

Children Exposed to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Terminology and Taxonomy

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Three definitional issues regarding children exposed to domestic violence are examined. First, the multiple ways in which a child can be exposed to violence is discussed. A taxonomy of 10 types of exposure is proposed. Nine key characteristics of domestic violence, as they relate to children and children's exposure, are then outlined. The third issue addressed concerns why children who are exposed to domestic violence can be considered victims of child maltreatment. These children, by nature of their experience in the home, are psychologically maltreated and are also at high risk for physical abuse and some risk for sexual abuse. Empirical questions concerning these definitions and taxonomies and their interrelations are discussed.