Impacts of Violence on Children
Impacts of Violence on Children
Children who witness violence are affected in a wide variety of ways:

  • Low self esteem, a lack of self-confidence and insecurity are often the result of living in a violent home.
  • Children do not feel safe in their own homes.
  • Most children, even very young children, are aware of violence in the home, even if they do not witness it first hand.
  • Feeling of responsibility, confusion, shame and anger are common.
  • Boys who grow up in violent homes are at a higher risk of being abusive to their partners in adulthood.
  • Girls who witness their mothers being abused may find it harder to leave an abusive adult relationship.
  • Children may develop behaviors such as nightmares, sleep disturbances and bed-wetting.
  • As children grow older, they may become depressed, withdrawn, or passive and experience feeling of hopelessness or powerlessness.
  • Suicide, drug use and emotional problems are evident in some teens living in violent homes.
  • Children living with violence often do poorly in school. They may have difficulty concentrating, frequent absences and behavioral difficulties.
  • Children learn that violence is an accepted way to solve family problems.

Every Child has the Right to be Safe and Happy

The lives of children can be profoundly affected by parental violence. Children from violent homes...

  • Live in fear of the next outburst
  • May blame themselves for the abuse
  • May feel angry, guilty and ashamed
  • May lose trust in adults
  • May find their needs ignored
  • Are sometimes victims of the abuse themselves
  • Learn to suppress their joy of living
  • Suffer damage to physical, emotional and mental health and exhibit aggressive or passive behavior
  • May come to accept abuse as normal
  • May grow up to be abusers or victims

Source: Libra House, Shelter for abused women and their children.
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