Children and Domestic Violence
“Daddy shouts at mummy and it makes me really sad, I don’t want daddy to shout at mummy anymore. It’s not nice.”
Despite your best efforts to shield and protect your children from the domestic violence that is going on at home, in the vast majority of cases, children of all ages will witness the violence and be aware of it and effected by it. Witnessing domestic violence can mean:
- actually seeing the violence by being in the same room or possibly trying to intervene in it, or forced to take part in it,
- hearing the violence and abuse,
- Observing the aftermath of the abuse (bruises, blood, broken furniture, torn clothes etc.)
Further, children who are growing up in families with domestic violence are more likely to be being physically or sexually abused directly by the perpetrator as well.
Impact on Children
Living with domestic violence in a climate of uncertainty and fear can affect children in many different ways as they grow up.
You may be afraid that if you seek help, your children could be taken away from you, but it is the opposite. You are never responsible for a violent partner’s abuse. Seeking help and support is the responsible thing to do for your children and it is important if you are to protect your children from further harm and get the appropriate supports they may already need. Children are resilient and with support can overcome the effects of domestic violence.
“I don’t want daddy to hurt mummy anymore”
Parenting in the aftermath of domestic abuse
Many issues arise for women who are coping with parenting in the aftermath of domestic violent. These include;
- Re - establishing parental control in the aftermath of domestic violence
- Establishing violent free homes and interrupting intergenerational violence
- Learning to navigate access and parenting issues with a violent and emotionally abusive partner
- Dealing with the negative impact of domestic violence including impact on children who identify with the abuser and who direct violence and controlling behaviour towards the women
- Children negatively impacted by the abuse who identify with the women and become her sole source of emotional support.
Children and Post Separation Abuse
But mainly he would use the system, endless reporting me to the garda, social services, Tulsa, you name it. Each time we were obligated to go through the processes including the children having to see psychologists. It was tiring, consuming and stressful for all of us. This was his satisfaction. My perpetrator continued to use the system to feed his appetite. And though it always turned out ok and I was vindicated in the end, it was generally a long harrowing, arduous journey to get there.
DVR Client testimony
Online help for children
If you are under 18 and domestic violence is happening in your home, it is important that you know that adult domestic violence is never your fault and it is not your job to fix it. You are not alone, domestic violence happens in many families and there are people and services that you can turn to that can help you and your family. Here are some safe sites that will help you find the information and support you need.