- Children who live in a home where battering occurs are likely to experience a variety of negative effects and problems.
- Children may be injured during an incident of violence, may suffer feelings of helplessness, may blame themselves for not preventing the violence or for causing it, and may be abused or neglected themselves.
- Children in violent homes face a dual threat: witnessing traumatic events and the threat of physical assault.
- Children living with domestic violence experience unnaturally high levels of anxiety.
- Children may suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (similar to what war veterans suffer) even after a single incident.
- Children exposed to domestic violence often experience difficulties in school.
- Children living in violent homes have more frequent incidents of truancy, theft, insomnia, temper tantrums, and violence toward others than children raised in a non-violent atmosphere.
- Studies indicate that boys exposed to family violence tend to be overly aggressive and disruptive.
- Studies show that girls who are exposed to family violence tend to withdraw and behave more passively than girls not exposed to violence.
- Children who live in abusive homes have a higher risk of juvenile delinquency and substance abuse.
It is extremely important for children who live in violent homes to have a simple safety plan.
- Warn children to stay out of the adults' conflicts.
- Make a list of people the children can trust and talk to when they are feeling unsafe (neighbors, teachers, relatives, friends).
- Decide ahead of time on a safe place the children can go when they feel unsafe.
- Teach children how to use police and other emergency phone numbers.
(Source: Domestic Violence Information and Referral Handbook)