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Home > Our Services > Help If You Are Abusive > How Can Abuse Affect Your Children?

Most people don't think that abuse affects their children. However, studies show that 90% of children are in the same or next room when abuse is happening and even if their parents are not aware of it, they know what is going on.

Children living in families where abuse is happening often experience some or all of the following:

  • Hearing the abuse,
  • Seeing violence,
  • Being woken by arguing,
  • Getting hurt trying to intervene,
  • Being brought into arguments,
  • Being isolated from friends and other family,
  • Being abused or hit themselves,
  • Seeing their mother tired, scared or upset,
  • Being neglected,
  • Being terrified about what is happening,
  • Having to keep secrets,
  • Having to leave home and live in a refuge,
  • Being bullied by other children,
  • Having social services involved with them,
  • Having to phone the police,
  • Having to comfort their mum,
  • Having to break contact with their dad.

 Even if they’re not in the same room, most children will know something is happening. This can be devastating for a child and can have long-term effects including:

  • Suffering injuries,
  • Sleep deprivation,
  • Stress and panic,
  • Developing eating disorders,
  • Being fearful and anxious,
  • Low self-esteem,
  • Being angry,
  • Losing friends and becoming isolated,
  • Modelling him / herself on violent behaviour - becoming a bully or in trouble with the police,
  • Missing school or doing poorly because of worry about what's happening at home,
  • Depression,
  • Taking drugs or using alcohol,
  • Getting into harmful relationships.
Police and Crime Commissioner, North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, BBC Children in Need, Leading Light Accreditation by Safe Lives
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