The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children


No matter how well domestic violence survivors think we are hiding it, we are not. Whether the domestic violence is physical or emotional, guaranteed, your kids know something is not right.

I thought I was hiding it. I thought I was doing the right thing and a good job keeping it to myself too. I now know it’s not true.

When we stepped Out of the Darkness, I took each child aside alone and told them the one thing I was the most scared to tell them ever. With tears in my eyes, I sat eye level with my 8 y/o son and said “You know buddy, both mommy and daddy love you so very much. But things have been tense since I have been working so we think it might be best for us to get a divorce and give each other some space”. The tears were slipping out, but I maintained a strong face and positive attitude. And to my surprise, he put his little hand on my shoulder and said “Mom, I know. It’s about time and it’s ok. Things will be better now”. That is when I lost control of the tears, in shock at how perceptive he was and realizing that he knew way more than I had thought. I was not prepared to go any further in the conversation, and he was happy to give me a hug and go off and get some hot chocolate from my mother. He knew.

A bit later, with tears again in my eyes, I sat eye level with my daughter. I said the same thing. She looked at me first and said “We can do that?” I was surprised and said that yes we could. She replied with “Thank god, I thought being married was awful”. I hugged her and realized she knew too. A lot more than I thought.

Most kids do. They are incredibly perceptive and in tune with their parents and they know something is wrong. So it really is not option for us, we have to discuss it with them.

But before we do, we need to know some info, right?! I have researched and now lived through some of these effects and this is what you need to know and look out for –

The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

Children who witness domestic violence react differently. In some children, they will seem ok for a long period then hit a deep depression later. In other children, they will begin acting out right away.

The effects of domestic violence on children can produce feelings of fear of harm, the future or abandonment, excessive worry or sadness, guilt, inability to experience empathy or guilt, habitual lying, low frustration tolerance, emotional distancing, poor judgement, shame.

If left unnoticed, these feelings can turn into obesity, self-hurting, bullying siblings and others, low self-esteem, anxiety, insomnia, bed-wetting, verbal, motor and cognitive issues, antisocial behaviors, and learning disabilities. Worst of all – if internalized, they have a really high rate of repeating the cycle and abusing or taking abuse from their future loved ones.

These are big issues, that WE, as conscious parents, can help out children with. Check out this great post on how to talk to your children about domestic violence.

Reach out and get support, if you haven’t already. Start the conversation and keep it going, that is how we break the cycle. Together. With our voices. And our truths.


Malibu Mama Loves Xx



Author: malibumamaloves

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