Children Harmed By Exposure to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can have a great impact on the divorce process. There are different types of domestic violence (e.g., intimate terrorism, violent resistance, situational couple violence). It can escalate during the divorce process when emotions are at their highest. No matter the type of violence, aggression and conflict have negative effects on the children of the relationship.

Children exposed to domestic violence have a higher risk of:

  • Emotional problems (e.g., anxiety, depression, stuttering, fear, withdrawal, sleep disruption, guilt);
  • Engaging in conflict and violence;
  • Exhibiting aggressive behavior; higher levels of anger; hostility; disobedience;
  • Antisocial behavior (e.g., poor peer, sibling and social relationships; lack of conflict resolution skills; limited problem-solving skills; poor coping skills);
  • Problems at school, including fighting and poor academic performance due to lower verbal, motor and cognitive skills; and
  • Challenges with future relationships (e.g., higher risk of engaging in domestic violence, greater likelihood of tolerating abuse).

This is the second of two blog posts to address domestic violence. This post discussed the impact of domestic violence on children. It is now October, which means that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a perfect time to seriously reflect on the impact that domestic violence has on families and the need for intervention.

Let’s stop the domestic violence cycle and not let children grow up in such an environment. Whether you are the victim of domestic violence or the alleged abuser, seek both counseling and legal representation. An experienced family law attorney can help you to get through this difficult period in your life to minimize the impact on your family.