UNICEF defines domestic violence or intimate partner violence as “a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviours including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion used by adults or adolescents against their current or former intimate partners.”
Domestic violence can include slapping, shaking, beating, coerced sex through threats or intimidation, isolation from others, excessive jealousy, verbal aggression, harassment or stalking, and humiliation.
Some of the
biggest victims of
are the smallest – UNICEF
How can domestic violence affect children? It’s important to note that not all children exposed to domestic violence will experience such negative effects. Here are some that may be experienced:
Behavioral, social, and emotional problems.
- aggressive and antisocial behavior
- depression and anxiety
- high levels of anger, hostility, oppositional behavior, and disobedience
- fear and withdrawal
- poor peer, sibling, and social relationships
- low self-esteem
Cognitive and attitudinal problems.
- lowered scores on assessments of verbal, motor, and cognitive skills
- slower cognitive development
- lack of conflict resolution skills
- limited problem solving skills
- pro-violence attitudes
- belief in rigid gender stereotypes and male privilege
- males exposed to domestic violence as children are more likely to engage in domestic violence as adults
- females are more likely to be victims
- higher levels of adult depression and trauma symptoms
- premature death, as well as risk factors for many of the most common causes of death
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic/partner violence, please follow these links for support and more information:
In the US: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Canada: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-363-9010.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.
UNICEF- Behind Closed Doors: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children
National Domestic Violence Hotline- How Can I Help a Friend/Family Member Who is Being Abused?