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Children also suffer from violence against women

Domestic violence against women also harms children who witness it, according to a study by researchers from the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) in Rio Grande do Sul. The conclusions are based on the 2015 Pelotas Birth Cohort, which includes all hospital births that occurred in the city of Pelotas between January 1 and December 31, 2015. Of the 4,275 live births in the cohort, 3,730 mother-child pairs were followed for four years and 3,292 were followed until the children were aged six or seven. Parental relationships were assessed by a team of psychologists through analysis of video recordings of the mother and child performing interactive tasks and interviews with women from both groups. Led by UFPel epidemiologist Carolina Coll, the analysis identified a high prevalence of so-called intimate partner violence (IPV): 21.9% of mothers reported having suffered emotional violence and 9.4% reported physical or sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the interview. The experience of violence damaged the relationships between mothers and children, weakening parental consistency, which is expressed through communication and interaction with children, and inducing coercive behavior by the parents. The results were similar in both groups (Lancet Global Health, September).