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How Does Domestic Violence Affect Children?

Posted on in Family Law

Joliet domestic violence family law attorneyAfter being born, children learn basic instincts, such as walking and talking, from their parents. They also rely on parents to teach them skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient. However, parents can also have a negative impact on their children. In a home where domestic violence has occurred, even young children can sense the problems, and witnessing violence can have lasting effects on children of all ages. 

What Is Considered Domestic Violence? 

Domestic violence is a series of behaviors used by a person to maintain power over his or her romantic partner. This may include threats, physical abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, isolation, or emotional manipulation. Domestic violence is seen in all social, economic, and racial groups, and it can affect partnerships ranging from casual relations to married couples. Whether intentional or not, the abuser uses their power to keep the victim in the unhealthy relationship. 

Millions of children witness abuse at home every year. A child deserves a healthy and safe home environment, but in cases involving domestic violence, home may be the last place he or she would want to be. Living with domestic abuse may mean witnessing physical violence, hearing fights, and seeing the aftermath, such as bruises or property damage. When they live in a home where violence is occurring, children may experience a variety of negative effects, including:

  • Health Concerns - Even if a child is not physically harmed, living in a situation with physical abuse can cause emotional trauma. The child may feel the pressure of keeping the “family secret.” This can cause mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression, because the child may feel powerless and scared for themselves, a sibling, or their parent. The emotional stress can stunt a child’s emotional growth and manifest into physical problems, such as insomnia or physical pain. 
  • Future Relationships - A child learns unhealthy coping mechanisms and conflict resolution methods when living in a home with abuse. The parents’ relationship may become a role model or standard for what the child expects in their own romantic relationships down the line. For example, if a child’s father is constantly putting down his or her mother, this shows the child that verbally abusing women is acceptable. Children who grow up with violence are also more likely to become abusers or be involved in an abusive relationship. 

Contact a Will County Domestic Abuse Attorney

No child deserves to live in fear. If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact an experienced Joliet family law attorney to learn about your options for receiving protection for you and your children. Call our office at 815-726-9200 to schedule a free consultation. 

Sources:

https://www.unicef.org/media/files/BehindClosedDoors.pdf

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