How do children feel when they are living in a home where one adult is using violence against another

Powerless and helpless:

  • because they can’t stop the abuse


  • Believing that they somehow caused the abuse


  • At the abuser for hurting someone they love
  • At the victim for somehow causing the abuse


  • Because they feel a need to help, but only end up getting hurt themselves either emotionally or physically
  • Because they are keeping the abuse a secret


  • Because parents may try to get them to choose sides
  • They may have feelings of both love and hate for both adults


  • For the safety of all the family members, including siblings and themselves


  • They may worry about a parent being arrested or ending up in the hospital
  • They may have a preoccupation with the death of someone involved


  • The situation often leads to poor performance in school
  • Children who live in violent homes often have few friends or no social life

For more in-depth information on the effects of trauma on children, the Adverse Childhood Effects study, is informative.  There is a survey you can complete if you or your child has suffered abuse.