Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support

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What About Your Children?

People who abuse their intimate partners may also abuse their children. Even if they are not a target of the violence, however, children often know about the abuse happening in their home even when parents think they don’t. Victims try very hard to shield their children from the violence, but this is not always possible.

While each child is different, children can be affected by seeing one parent abuse the other. Children in specific age groups may be affected in different ways.

Younger children (pre-school and kindergarten) may:

Pre-teens may:

Children often know about the abuse even when parents think they don’t.

Teens may:

How Can You Help Your Children?

An important factor in helping children deal with domestic violence is their relationship with you. Ways you can support your children:

There is help available for children who have lived with domestic violence. Many domestic violence programs have services specifically for children, including counseling and support groups. Talk to your local program about how they can help your children and whether they have referrals for other children’s services.