This tragic story depicts the devastating culmination of a domestic violence incident and the extensive history of it in the household that led to the death of a 17-year old boy attempting to protect his mother. The consequences of such events are devastating – for loved ones, families, and communities as a whole.
Yet, while this is what many would consider an “extreme case” with unfortunate developments, in reality, there are 15+ million children in the United States alone who experience over 60 million nights per year of domestic violence in their home between their caregivers (Childhood Domestic Violence or CDV). And the real tragedy is that these most vulnerable and helpless victims are seldom seen, acknowledged, or considered when domestic violence discussions come up.
Many of these children, just like Tyler, are caught in the crossfire and sustain direct physical scars themselves…or worse. But even among those who are not – who are never themselves physically touched – the neurological, psychological, and emotional scars run deep. These experiences in childhood alter their developing brain and forever change who they become. The staggering statistics in later life associated with growing up in a home with domestic violence have been thoroughly documented over 3 decades of research.
But research is not enough. Awareness and understanding of the far-reaching impact are essential. To that end, Tyler’s family founded the Tyler Madison Project – to give a voice to the voiceless victims of domestic violence – the children. Awareness is a key antidote to the problem – inoculating one neighborhood, one community, one city, one country at a time is the path to reaching the mass awareness of an issue too widespread and devastating to ignore.
The full story around Tyler’s tragic death, “The youngest victims of domestic violence, innocent children are often overlooked” by Jenice Armstrong in the Philadelphia Inquirer, can be accessed here: https://www.inquirer.com/news/domestic-violence-murder-suicide-philly-jenice-armstrong-20191001.html
To learn more about Childhood Domestic Violence, it’s impact on a life, and life-changing tools and resources, visit our homepage, www.cdv.org