When it comes to children, witnessing domestic abuse in the home is child abuse. Children should be able to rely on their home to be a safe place and living under the shadow of abuse can be extremely traumatic and lead to problems later in life.
Living in a home where domestic abuse takes place can have a serious impact on a child or young person’s mental and physical wellbeing and their behaviour, which can also last into adulthood.
What is really important is making sure that abuse in the home stops and children and young people have a safe and stable environment. Indirectly witnessing domestic abuse can be just as damaging for young people. This can include:
- hearing the abuse
- seeing a parent injured or in distress
- finding broken things like furniture around the house
- being hurt by being close by or trying to intervene
- not having their parents be there for them
Witnessing this abuse can have a real impact on young people’s behaviour and development into adulthood, and can lead to aggression and difficulty making friends or interacting with others as well as long term side effects such as anxiety and withdrawal which can lead to drug and alcohol abuse.
Physical effects of witnessing abuse can also lead to higher rates of illness and fatigue, reduced physical growth and have an impact of nervous and hormonal systems.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from, or witnessing domestic abuse – then you need to report it now. Find out where you can get local or national help on our website.