The forgotten victims of family violence are often the children. The impact is long term and difficult to erase.
Even if the children are not physically abused themselves, they will often witness, hear or see the signs of abuse. Some people think that no harm is done if the children are not physically hurt, or they only hear angry arguments and shouting – this is not true. Children are adversely affected even if they don’t actually see what is happening.
Many children who witness violence are scared of the abuser, and fear for the other parent. They often act out, have problems at school, and show signs of fear and shame. Children who grow up in households that are violent are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, low academic achievement, drug and alcohol issues and difficulties in their adult relationships.
Children who have been abused or witnessed abuse need help and support to recover.
1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732
Mensline Australia 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
You can also ask for help from your child’s school counsellor or the state child protection authority.