By John McCarthy and Angela Alsobrooks, state’s attorneys in Maryland.
"As prosecutors, we have long noted with distress how often children are present when violent crimes are committed. Kids don’t need to be the target of the violence to be scarred by it."
"Researchers studying these “invisible victims” have found that an array of emotional and behavioral consequences flow from the exposure. In 2003, the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect published a bulletin outlining negative effects ranging from behavioral and social impairments to cognitive and attitudinal problems. In more precise terms, research has found that children exposed to violence are more aggressive, disobedient, withdrawn and depressed and exhibit lower self-esteem. The experience also can lead to poor school performance and diminished problem-solving skills."