Effects of Domestic Violence on Children


Domestic violence puts all individuals in physical and emotional jeopardy, especially children. Parents are often unaware of the effects that violence can have on a child. You may think that the children don’t notice it because they can’t see it, but they can always hear it and feel it.

Shame and Isolation Children are rarely able to tell anyone what is going on at home. They may feel embarrassed and ashamed.

Low Self-Esteem Children may feel responsible and blame themselves. It is also likely that the children are not getting the necessary emotional support from either parent to ensure healthy development of their self-esteem.

Child Abuse In approximately half of the families experiencing domestic violence, there is physical and verbal child abuse.

Excessive Responsibility Children often have to “parent” their mothers and/or fathers or take responsibility for younger siblings. They are often robbed of a normal childhood.

Inconsistency and Chaos Unpredictable behaviors from both parents take their toll on the children’s mental health and well being.

Incest Domestic violence agencies throughout the country see a substantial number of families where not only physical and verbal abuse exists, but incest as well.

Violent/Submissive Behavior Children often repeat behaviors they learn from their parents (the perpetrator or the victim).

For information on Megan’s Law and Offender Watch