For this literature review, domestic violence is defined as: “Domestic violence refers to the use of physical or emotional force or threat of physical force, including sexual violence, in close adult relationships. This includes violence perpetrated by a spouse, partner, son, daughter or any other person who has a close or blood relationship with the victim. The term ‘domestic violence’ goes beyond actual physical violence. It can also involve emotional abuse; the destruction of property; isolation from friends, family and other potential sources of support; threats to others including children; stalking; and control over access to money, personal items, food, transportation and the telephone” (Task Force Report on Violence Against Women, 1997: p.27) This Task Force definition of domestic along with now existing Irish legislation on domestic violence can be said to be gender-neutral. Although it is generally acknowledged the vast majority of victims that suffer from domestic violence are women, it is very important to remember in this day and age that victims of domestic violence can also be men. McKeon and Kidd (2002) very much support this position as was shown in a review of international gender-neutral research of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a very significant issue for those whose life is affected by it. Domestic violence is not a new thing but in the last few decades there has been more public awareness surrounding domestic violence and also more government agreement in that something needs to be done about it (Holt and Devaney 2015). And over time we are getting a better understanding about what domestic violence is and the impact that domestic violence has on those affected, this has brought about the need to define it and what society needs to do in order to tackle it. This has not come without problems though as there is many different understandings of domestic violence that differ in research studies and different cultures (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014). Domestic violence and child abuse Children that are exposed to domestic violence are at a greater risk of suffering abuse themselves such as physical abuse or neglect. And to show this there was a study carried out in the UK by the NSPCC and it was called the prevalence study and it found that children that are being exposed to Domestic were between 2.9 and 4.4 times more likely to encounter physical violence and neglect from a caregiver than those children that are not exposed to domestic violence (Radford et al., 2011). A similar research that was carried out by Moffitt and Caspi’s (2003) of New Zealand found that a childs probability of abuse was three to nine times higher in homes where there was domestic violence, than those of children who werent exposed to domestic violence. When living in a stressful and violent household it has very negative consequences for both a child’s emotional and mental health in the short-term and long-term (Evans et al., 2008). The repeated concurrence of domestic violence and child abuse can be seen in three different ways. First of all the violent individual very often does not victimize between different relatives. Second, adult victims may not be able to meet the needs of their children as a result of physical injury or their poor mental health. And lastly children may get the brunt of the violence while they try to intervene or if the victim is holding them at the time of the assault. Even though there is little evidence that a childs biological father has been found to be more likely than spouses or a cohabiting partner to show concern for the effects of their violent behaviour on their children, but they are no more likely than the spouses or partners to show an intent to stop their violent behaviour or to do something to help reduce the impact that their violence has on on their children (Rothman et al., 2007), this then increses the need for professionals to determine ways to effectively work with them but to do so carefully without increasing the danger to the victims (Devaney, 2014). The effect of current and future relationships When the impact of domestic violence on children’s development is talked about , it is about the effects on a child that is living in a home where domestic violence is taking place. The impact that domestic violence has to everyone effected is used to help better understand the problems that many may experience either as a parent or as well in loving relationships. According to Bowlby’s (1958) attachment theory, in the relationship between the parent and the child it is the parents job is to provide protection for their children. And when the parents are not able to provide protection to themselves first, this can cause the relationship between the parent and the child to suffer, and this then goes to cause a lot of tension in their attachment. There is in fact a difference between the attachment structure and also between the parenting styles of assured mothers in solid relationships verses those whose parents are not in a solid relationship according to Belsky (1999). And the children who actually do experience this type of abuse or the unattached caregiving are then more than likely to start having negative reactions towards their caregiver, and this is due to the absence of attachment or the build-up of tension between the caregiver and the child this goes on then to cause stronger reactions and so on until they are helped. (Waldman-Levi et al., 2015). There is a link between children that have witnessed domestic violence as a child and those that go on to do the same to their own families or when in a relationship and this is a proven fact (Nixon et al., 2013). And understandably this is a huge safety concern and a lot of different research has shown that about 10-20% of teenagers have in fact experienced dating violence themselves (Temple et al., 2013). Then we look at the social learning theory, this does explain that the children who have been exposed to domestic violence are prone to actually experience violence themselves, and also be violent towards others. It is also important to realise that all children who have been exposed to domestic violence will go on to violent themselves (Temple et al., 2013). Different research also shows us that exposure to domestic violence as a boy can be identified with men’s execution of abusive behaviour at home ((Hines and Malley-Morrison, 2005). A lot of domestic violence victims that are females actually came from homes in which they were exposed to domestic violence between their parents (Payne & Gainey, 2009). The Social learning theory would show how it is that boys “learn” how to become the abusers and then how the girls “learn” about how to play the victim (Payne & Gainey, 2009). Domestic violence does damage a child’s important emotional attachments, and this then goes on to affect the child’s abilities to form important attachments throughout the rest of their lives, especially in their close relationships. These attachment problems can then go on to become a big factor in their close relationships where jealousy can increase and this is then where their aggression and violence will increase also (McKee & Payne, 2014) Bibigography Radford, L. (2011). Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. London: NSPCC. Devaney, J, Reseach Review: The Impact Of Domestic Violence On Children. (2015). 12th ed. ebook Belfast: pp.1-17. Available at: https://pure.qub.ac.uk/ws/files/17369087/Research_review_impact_of_domestic_violence_on_children.pdf Accessed 21 Jan. 2018. Violence Againist Women: An EU Wide Survey. (2014). Luxembourg: European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights, pp.7-8. Caspi, A. and Moffitt, T. (2003). Childhood origins of violent behaviour in adults with schizophreniform disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 183(06), pp.520-525. Evans, S., Davies, C. and DiLillo, D. (2008). Exposure to domestic violence: A meta-analysis of child and adolescent outcomes. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13(2), pp.131-140. McKeown, K and P. Kidd (2002). Men and Domestic Violence: What Research Tells Us. Dublin: Department of Health and Children. Cassidy, J. and Shaver, P. (1999). Handbook of attachment. New York: Guilford Press, pp.249-264. Bowlby, J. (1958). The nature of the child’s tie to his mother. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 39, pp.350-373. Waldman-Levi, A., Finzi-Dottan ,R., and Wientraub, N. (2015). Attachment security and parental perception of competency among abused women in the shadow of ptsd and childhood exposure to domestic violence. Journal of child family studies. 24: 57-65. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-013-9813-3. Temple, J. (2013). Importance of gender and attitudes about violence in the relationship between exposure to interparental violence and the perpetration of teen dating violence. Child Abuse And Neglect, 37(5), pp.343-352. Hines, D. and Malley-Morrison, K. (2005). Family violence in the United States. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications. Payne, B. and Gainey, R. (2009). Family violence and criminal justice: A Life Course Approach. 3rd ed. New jersey: Anderson publishing. Dutton, D. (2000). Witnessing Parental Violence as a Traumatic Experience Shaping the Abusive Personality. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 3(1), pp.59-67.