Effects of Domestic Violence on Children:


  • Grief for family and personal losses
  • Shame, guilt and self-blame
  • Confusion and conflicting feelings toward parents
  • Fear of abuse, abandonment, the unknown
  • Anger
  • Depression – feelings of helplessness and powerlessness
  • Embarrassment


  • Acting out or withdrawing from others
  • Aggressive or overly compliant/passive behavior
  • Difficulty in school or school refusal
  • Care-taking or acting like the parent of the individual experiencing abuse or siblings
  • Avoiding conflict
  • Bedwetting and nightmares
  • Attention seeking or clinginess


  • Isolation from friends or relatives
  • Stormy relationships
  • Difficulty trusting others, particularly adults
  • Poor anger management and social skills
  • Passivity with peers or bullying
  • Engaging in exploitative relationships as abuser or abused


  • Somatic, or stomach, complaints, headaches
  • Nervousness, anxiety, short attention span
  • Sleep deprivation, tiredness, lethargy
  • Frequent illness
  • Poor hygiene
  • Self abuse or high-risk play
  • Injury or death resulting from physical abuse