Domestic Violence Hurts Kids Too
Many children who witness domestic violence have been found to have higher levels of behavioural and emotional problems than other children. The impact varies according to their age, sex, and role in the family. Some children feel responsible for the violence. They may think they are making things easier for their mother by appearing to cope with the situation, by trying to be quieter, and by not saying how they feel. While most children escape without physical injury they may bear emotional scars which in many cases can last a lifetime.
What can we do for children?
Firstly we need to understand and accept that witnessing domestic violence harms children. We need to place the responsibility for the violence with the offending parent, and support the abused parent in order to improve her capacity to protect her children. Most importantly, children who witness domestic violence need to know they are not forgotten.
The effects on children who witness domestic violence may include:
A number of concerns, behaviors and disturbances have been repeatedly observed in the children of battered women who have left. Among these are the following:
Many of these conditions and/or behaviors first begin to emerge after a child and his or her mother have left. Only then, once he or she has established a sense of being out of imminent danger, will a child feel safe enough to let the pent-up responses to trauma surface and begin to play themselves out in spontaneous efforts to self-heal and to master indigestible experiences.
|Children of Abused Mothers at Risk for School and Health Problems||Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and Adolescents: An Overview|
|Adressing the effects of DV on children|