Domestic Abuse and Children

Domestic violence and abuse is one of the most difficult situations families face.  If your partner or ex-partner is abusing you, you may be worried about the impact on your children.  

Children are often the unseen victims of domestic abuse.  This can be during the relationship and after separation. Your abuser may directly target your children.  Your children may witness or overhear what is happening in the home.

Domestic abuse against children includes:

  • Emotional abuse including verbal abuse (name-calling, threats of violence, neglect)
  • Physical abuse including slapping, hair-pulling, use of weapons to beat children
  • Sexual abuse
  • Witnessing abuse against their mothers
  • Forcing children to go on access visits with an abusive father
  • Children deliberately isolated and estranged from their mothers

Impact on children

Children can experience both short-term and long-term effects as a result of domestic violence. These can include:

  • Feeling guilty, angry, insecure and anxious
  • Having difficulty sleeping and/or experiencing nightmares or flashbacks
  • Bed-wetting
  • Having a lowered sense of self-worth
  • Experiencing difficulties in school

However, it is important to remember that some children may not exhibit any negative effects.

If you are worried about your children, talk to us.

More information on protecting children here.