The Centers for Disease Control recently released a study that found a link between bullying and witnessing or experiencing violence at home.
Exposure to violent family encounters was more common among bully-victims [those who both bully and are bullied] than among bullies, and more common among bullies than victims of bullying. Among middle school students, 23.2% of bully-victims reported being physically hurt by a family member and 22.8% reported witnessing violence, compared with 19.4% and 17.4%, respectively, among bullies and 13.6% and 14.8%, respectively, among victims of bullying. Among high school students, comparisons by category were similar.
It makes sense. Children learn how to move through the world by what they witness in the home. If they witness a parent using bullying behaviors against another parent, they will likely mimic those behaviors. It is up to us to teach the children in our care (our own children, those in our classroom, those in our scout troop, etc.) that violence is not acceptable and to model respectful behavior. Otherwise, we will continue to pass abusive behaviors from generation to generation.