Violence, whether verbal or physical, is terrible for everyone. Fearing for one’s life or the safety of one’s children is frightening. It can bring strong emotions that affect everyone now as well as into the future.
What happens to children who live with violence in their homes? The ways they are affected depends on their age, the type of violence they observe, and how long they live with the stress of violence in their home. Healthy relationships can help children feel safer.
Children may be scared, worried, and confused. Relationships with family members can be complicated. For example, in older children – even if the child knows their parent was abusive – they may still miss them and blame their non-abusive parent for everything. Some children will hide their feelings and others may be angry. Some children try to have extra good behavior.
Because of the violence in your family, it is good to teach your child without using any kind of violence, even verbal threats. Do your best to work toward a calm and supportive family dynamic where everybody feels safe.
You and your child have been through a lot. Try not to blame yourself and remember that things can get better.
The content of this post was developed in collaboration between Solid Ground’s Broadview program staff with consultant Lenore Rubin, PhD. Lenore is a child psychologist and an expert in helping children and families to thrive after experiencing trauma.
Domestic Violence Help in Seattle/King County
Call 206.299.2500 for Solid Ground’s confidential Domestic Violence shelter services and/or 2.1.1 toll-free at 1.800.621.4636, M-F, 8am-6pm for info about all King County resources.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1.800.799.7233 or TTY 1.800.787.3224
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