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FAMILIES IN CRISIS LEGAL AND SOCIAL DEFINITION A family in crisis is a family suffering some kind of trauma The trauma may be physical emotional social or financial expected or unexpected temporary or permanent A family may be in crisis for many reasons it may be due to a natural disaster death of a family member a family breakdown drug or gambling problems retrenchment domestic violence or alcohol mental health issues or chronic illness Often families experiencing crisis are dealing with a number of the above issues for example mental health unemployment and domestic violence are a common combination of problems that occur in a family at the one time The nature of the crisis the resources the family has access to and the way they deal with the crisis will have a major impact on the family CHARACTERSITICS The characteristics identifying a family in crisis vary widely according to the nature of the crisis and also the resilience and recourses of the family There are no real general characteristics as each different type of crisis has such a different impact emotionally physically financially and socially on a family but here are a few examples A family suffering from violence or domestic abuse especially women and children display characteristics such as becoming more withdrawn from friends and family this may be because they dont want people to be aware about the troubles they are having at home or ask questions about unexplained injuries They may make comments or jokes about their partnersparents behaviour but then laugh them off People suffering abuse also often have low self-esteem and may be reluctant to leave their home often missing work or school and cancelling plans at the last minute A very common characteristic of families suffering abuse is that the mother will become emotionally unavailable to her children and the majority of her energy will go to monitoring her partners movements Common characteristics of an
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