It’s a global problem, but we don’t always talk about the impact of domestic violence on children. While both men and women are affected, some of the biggest victims of domestic violence are the smallest.
Kids need a safe and secure home, with parents or caretakers that protect them. But for far too many, home is far from a safe haven. Each year, millions of children are exposed to domestic violence at home, having a profound impact on their lives and hopes for the future.
In fact, it’s estimated that 133 to 275 million children witness violence between their parents/caretakers annually on a frequent basis — usually arguments between parents, or between their mother and partner. Evidence shows that witnessing this violence over a long period of time can severely affect a child’s well-being, personal development, and social interactions both in childhood and adulthood.
Common Issues Experienced by Kids Exposed to Domestic Violence
According to a recent study, The World Report on Violence against Children, children who are exposed to violence in the home may suffer a range of severe and lasting effects. They’re particularly vulnerable during the earliest years of life, with studies showing domestic violence is more prevalent in homes with younger children than those with older children.
According to the World Report:
- Elementary and middle school-aged children witnessing parents’ violence at home are more likely to be victims of bullying at school. Conversely, exhibit signs of more aggressive behavior, and are up to three times more likely to be involved in fighting
- Personality and behavioral problems among children exposed to violence take the forms of psychosomatic illnesses, depression, suicidal tendencies, and bed-wetting
- Both girls and boys who’ve experienced domestic violence may run away or drift into a street life that exposes them to the risk of sexual abuse or exploitation
- Kids who are not direct victims of family violence will have some of the same behavioral and psychological problems as those who are themselves physically abused
- The effects of domestic violence on children are tied to difficulty learning and limited social skills, exhibit violent, risky or delinquent behavior, or suffer from depression or severe anxiety
Children Have a Right to a Safe Home Environment
Violence in the home takes away a child’s basic right to feel safe and secure in the world. Adults who work or spend time with kids, including teachers, social workers, relatives, and parents themselves, need the awareness and skills to recognize the signs and refer children to appropriate services.
If you’re suspicious of domestic violence on children, a private investigator can help you uncover the proof you need to protect them.