How violence and abusive behaviour affects children

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.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites

The views or opinions expressed in this information are general in nature and do not constitute professional advice. You may benefit from professional help to deal with individual and complex issues.