Last Sunday, two children ages 8 and 10 witnessed their mother allegedly being stabbed to death by their father in Twinsburg, and everyone is asking about how they're coping with the tragedy.
Melissa Peace with Akron Children's Hospital tells AkronNewsNow.com that children who witness acts of violence could experience a ripple effect that could affect them into adulthood.
"When children witness violence, it disrupts their sense of safety and it can create a sense of horror and terror for them," Peace explained.
"If they don't receive the appropriate help it can have debilitating effects through their entire lifetime."
Studies from medical organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that children who are subject to traumatic events can experience health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and other issues.
Peace says the ramifications of children witnessing extreme violence can possibly even shorten their life span through self-medicating.
"At times children self medicate through drugs and alcohol," she said.
"Also stress-response signals that have been triggered through traumatic events can damage the internal organs and cause the heart disease and obesity among other problems."
She also says children can engage in high-risk behaviors, which could lead to a shorter life span as well.
Peace says children need a strong support system in place in order to treat that type of trauma.
"The more caring and concerned adults that children can have, the more resilient they will be."
The children of Glenn and Tami Wong are now in the custody of relatives and Twinsburg authorities say both will be receiving counseling in the very near future.