Children and adolescents need their parent or parents to provide a caring, safe home and a stable family life where they can grow, learn and play.
When a child sees or hears a parent being abused by their partner, or otherwise knows that their parent is a victim of abuse, their sense of security is threatened.
Often, parents think that their children do not know that abuse is occurring, but children know a lot more about what is happening than we sometimes think they do. They may hear or see the scary event occurring; other times, they may know something bad has happened because of the worry on a parent’s face, the injuries on a parent’s body, or objects that are broken in the home.
Children are not "little adults." They have unique ways of understanding violence. Listen carefully to how they make sense of what has happened. Help them understand in ways that are not detrimental to them.
Remember – helping children and young adults who are impacted by domestic violence requires close collaboration among families, advocates, health care providers, mental health providers, educators, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system. For information about available children's services, click here.
For important statistics and information on this issue, view our fact sheet here.