Domestic Violence and Children

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MYTH: Yes, my spouse abuses me, but never in front of the children, so they don’t know.
FACT: Your children know about the abuse.

Not all children are affected by domestic violence in the same way. Some symptoms shared by children who live with domestic violence are:

  • Fearful and clinging
  • Withdrawn and anxious
  • Likely to suffer impaired development
  • Confused
  • Complaining about health
  • Suffering from sleep disturbances
  • Experiencing school difficulties
  • Having trouble making friends
  • Crying or screaming excessively
  • Demanding attention

Adolescents may act out or exhibit risk-taking behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, running away, pregnancy or criminal behavior.

Most significantly of all, children who witness abuse often learn this behavior and continue it into their adult lives by abusing their significant others or getting into relationships with an abusive partner.

Domestic Violence Does Affect Children

If you need help stopping the cycle, contact: Employee Assistance Program at 757-398-2374 or 1-800-EAP-3257.