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What is the impact of domestic violence on children?

Domestic violence can destroy a family. Whether one or both parents participate, it has a negative impact on the children.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Women’s Health, domestic violence exposure can impact kids their whole lives. It could lead to them becoming victims or abusers when they become adults. Beyond that, it also has other effects on the children.

Mental impacts

Children who grow up in a home with domestic violence may be anxious. They may worry a lot or be afraid of abnormal things. They learn to live on the edge of fear, which can take a toll on their mental health and capabilities. It can also lead kids to become bullies or make them feel guilty for what is happening.

Physical effects

Children may be sick more often, have trouble sleeping or have issues with potty training if they grow up in a home with violence. Younger kids may use a bottle or pacifier longer. Older kids may develop stutters or sleep disorders.

Long-term impacts

The long-term results of living in a home with domestic violence include risky behaviors as a child gets older. They may be more likely to have a teenage pregnancy and to abuse drugs and alcohol. These kids may exhibit other dangerous behaviors and do badly in school.

Watching domestic violence occur regularly in their homes puts kids at a disadvantage. While they may not be the target of the abuser, they do become collateral damage. The impact on them is often long-lasting and can cause them trouble for the rest of their lives.

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