Children, Violence and Trauma

Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma

This video discusses how violence and trauma affect children, including the serious and long-lasting consequences for their physical and mental health; signs that a child may be exposed to violence or trauma; and the staggering cost of child maltreatment to families, communities, and the Nation. Victims lend their voices to this video to provide first-hand accounts of how their exposure to violence as children affected them.

This video was created by The Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Trauma and Children
Trauma caused by experiences of child abuse and neglect to have serious effects on the developing brain. Researchers have noted several key messages:

  • Brains develop over time and through interaction with the environment.
  • Chronic, toxic stress of the sort experienced by maltreated children, and particularly in the absence of consistent, supportive and interactive relationships with adult caregivers, has been found to have an especially damaging effect on young children’s growing brains..
  • Exposure to complex and chronic trauma can result in persistent psychological problems.
  • The interaction between genes and environment also plays a role in how the brain develops, particularly during the early developmental period


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