20% of children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse (Radford et al. NSPCC, 2011)
62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed (SafeLives, 2015)
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you have probably tried to shield your children from the worst of it. But it is important to realise that in most situations where abuse is present, children inevitable become aware of it and are often the subject of the abuse. A large number of these children suffer through the physical and psychological effects into adulthood.
To cope with the impact of domestic abuse, children can adopt many different coping strategies. Some of the signs that your child is experiencing the effects of domestic abuse are:
How can I keep my children safe?
1) Talk to your children: You can keep your children safe by keeping them informed and by creating a healthy and safe relationship with them so they are able to talk to you.
Children are silent witnesses and what they witness can create lifelong confusion. Talk to them and communicate reasons for decision making regularly.
2) Understand the abuse: You can keep your children safe by understanding the behaviours perpetrator adopt to use children in an abusive situation.
3) We can speak with you about child protection and reporting abuse. Your local social care support will help you with action plans towards safeguarding. Parents find this useful in helping them understand the depth of the abuse and take decisive actions to move away from an abusive environment.
4) Report the abuse: You can report to the police, to your GP or to you child’s school.