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Compounding Intergenerational Effects

Growing up in a violent home has important implications for the formation of identity and shaping of adult behaviour. [1]  The intersection of VAW and VAC also has similar mental health outcomes for both types of violence, furthermore poly-victimisation (understood as the exposure to multiple forms of violence) has been shown to have cumulative and long-term effects. [2-3]  Evidence has shown that experiencing child maltreatment and witnessing partner abuse in the home as a child increases the risk of becoming both a perpetrator and victim of sexual and intimate partner violence as an adult. [4-5]

The intergenerational effect of VAC is also gendered –exposure to childhood violence increases men’s risk of becoming perpetrators of sexual and intimate partner violence and women’s risk of becoming a victim of intimate partner violence.[7,8,1] 

1.    Mercy, J. A., Saul, J. & Hillis, S. The Importance of Integrating Efforts to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children. UNICEF. 2019
Usta J, Farver JM, Danachi D. Child maltreatment: the Lebanese children's experiences. Child: care, health and development. 2013 Mar;39(2):228-36. 

2.    Gómez AM, Speizer IS. Intersections between childhood abuse and adult intimate partner violence among Ecuadorian  women. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2009 Jul 1;13(4):559.             

3.    Devries KM, Knight L, Allen E, Parkes J, Kyegombe N, Naker D. Does the Good Schools Toolkit reduce physical, sexual and emotional violence, and injuries, in girls and boys equally? A cluster-randomised controlled trial. Prevention science. 2017 Oct 1;18(7):839-53.

4.    Abrahams N, Jewkes R. Effects of South African men’s having witnessed abuse of their mothers during childhood on their levels of violence in adulthood. American Journal of Public Health. 2005 Oct;95(10):1811-6. 

5.    Gass JD, Stein DJ, Williams DR, Seedat S. Gender differences in risk for intimate partner violence among South African adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2011 Sep;26(14):2764-89.

6. Barrios YV, Gelaye B, Zhong Q, Nicolaidis C, Rondon MB, Garcia PJ, Sanchez PA, Sanchez SE, Williams MA. Association of childhood physical and sexual abuse with intimate partner violence, poor general health and depressive symptoms among pregnant women. PloS one. 2015 Jan 30.

7.Mathews S, Govender R, Lamb G, Boonzaier F, Dawes A, Ward C, Duma S, Baraecke L, Warton G, Artz L, Meer T, Jamieson L, Smith R & Röhrs S. Towards a more comprehensive understanding of the direct and indirect determinants of violence against women and children in South Africa with a view to enhancing violence prevention. Safety and Violence Initiative: University of Cape Town. 2016.

8. Zietz S, Kajula L, Reyes HL, Moracco B, Shanahan M, Martin S, Maman S. Patterns of adverse childhood experiences and subsequent risk of interpersonal violence perpetration among men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2020 Jan 1;99:104256.