How are your math skills?

This week, the World Health Organization announced that one in three women worldwide have been physically or sexually assaulted by a current or former partner. Almost 40 percent of women murdered around the world were killed by their intimate partner.

So if one in three women have been victims of domestic violence, how many children are impacted? And are they only impacted if they were physically present during the assault(s)? Or only effected if they’re old enough to realize what’s going on?

This week, I attended a lecture by epidemiologist Dr.Chamberlain given to youth-serving professionals about the impact of complex trauma on the developing brain of a child.

Dr. Linda Chamberlain

There, I learned a few things:

The younger the child, the greater the impact. Though an infant may be too young to know what’s going on, the child’s developing brain will not forget, a scary fact for those of  us who’ve told ourselves that our kids were young and therefore exempt from long-term impact somehow. 


When a developing brain is focused on survival, the result can lead to a smaller brain with fewer connections, interfering with learning down the road.

Health problems like headaches, bed-wetting, and stomach-aches are common among traumatized children.  And what kind of trauma is more taxing on a child than when the parent they love is injured or is hurting another?

But there is good news. Brains can be rewired. Brains can heal.

Through healthy relationships, physical and social activity, and developing new skills.

One in three women being abused equates to a lot of developing brains being shaped. But we can all help re-shape them.

To learn more about how you can help, take a look at The Amazing Brain: Trauma and the Potential for Healing online.  

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