Domestic Violence and Children

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a devastating social problem that impacts all segments of society and can have a profound impact on children. Home should be a safe place. For too many children, home is a place of conflict among grown-ups. Sometimes children get caught up in the violence and are physically harmed. Other times, children are emotionally scarred by witnessing domestic violence.

Often, people think that children are safe if the violence in the home is not directed at the children. Recent research indicates that exposure to family violence can have long-term consequences. Children exposed to domestic violence are at increased risk of exposure to traumatic events, such as the injury of a parent. Children exposed to domestic violence are also at higher risk of abuse and neglect than children who are not.

Warning signs of domestic violence include the following:

  • Frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequent and sudden absences from work or school
  • Child is afraid of inviting another child to his/her home
  • Personality changes in a parent (e.g. an outgoing woman becomes withdrawn)
  • Excessive fear of conflict
  • Submissive behavior, lack of assertiveness
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Depression, crying, low self-esteem

There are local and national resources available to help support children who have been exposed to domestic violence, including the Fostering Healing program. This program supports children being raised by a grandparent, foster parent or other caregiver due to domestic violence or other traumas.

Other local resources for domestic violence include:

National Domestic Violence Resources:

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