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How Do The Children Cope?

Aug 18, 2007
Domestic violence doesn't just affect the victims, it also affects the children, even if they haven't seen it, they may have heard all the shouting. They can become withdrawn, their schoolwork may suffer, it can also lead to behavioural problems, such as bullying, kicking and screaming at younger or even older siblings. Others may just try and block it and try to carry on as normal.

I must admit I was very lucky with my daughter, she's doing great at school, and she wants to be a Marine Biologist. She was about 5 when my abuse started to get out of hand, she's fourteen now, and we're the best of friends, she sometimes mentions what her dad did, and what she'd do if he tried anything now, we've been divorced seven years, after fifteen years of marriage. I did what I did not for myself, but to keep my daughter safe. It's not always the adults that are a victim of domestic violence.

There are people who can help with this, Social Services, the Child Protection Team, and Counsellor's, even schoolteachers can help as they know your child and sometimes it's easier for a child to open up to an adult they know and trust other than their parents. In fact schoolteachers can pick up a lot from kids, when they get to know them.

If your child doesn't want to talk about it, don't force them; this will only make matters worse. Let them start talking and asking questions first, this may not be until they're older and can understand more about what's been happening in their life.

My mum was also a victim of domestic violence, I used to see the bruises and hear the shouting, from about the age of eight. It took me till I was twenty-one, then I confronted my dad, this ended in a full-scale fight.

There are a lot of refuges for victims of domestic violence, the abusive partner is allowed nowhere near, so they and their children are safe, there are counsellors that work there and people to help you get re-housed and financial help, even schooling for the kids can be done in a refuge. These can be either short term or long term depending on the situation, the only downside is you may end up moving away from friends and family, but at least you know you and the kids will be safe.
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