This article from The Age proposes that exposure to prolonged stress through domestic violence can lead to toxic stress in children – ongoing stress that leads to brain damage. It also identifies the role of parenting as helping children to regulate their emotional arousal state, and suggests this is often not happening due to the fact that parents cannot regulate their own emotions.
”One of the major tasks of parenting is to help kids regulate their emotional arousal state. So if a kid’s getting really upset, mum and dad give them a cuddle and they calm, their whole body calms because the physiology changes. The children learn how to do it through experience but the problem is we’ve got an increasing number of parents who find it difficult to regulate their own emotions as a result of problems they’re experiencing themselves, so they’re not passing on those skills to their children.’