Children and Domestic Violence


Children who grow up in violent homes are:
  • Four times more likely to be arrested by police
  • Six times more likely to commit suicide
  • 24 times more likely to commit sexual assault
  • 50 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol
  • 70% of men who batter their wives also batter their children
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults.  And thus, the generational cycle continues.
  • 62% of sons older than 14 were injured when they attempted to protect their mothers from attacks by abusive male partners.
Other Effects
  • Domestic violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear.
  • Domestic violence in the home causes children to show more anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, anger, and various temperament problems 
  • Male children who witness the abuse of mothers by fathers are more likely to become men who batter in adulthood than those male children from homes free of violence 

Why Children Don’t Tell:

  • Fear of threats – verbal or imagined
  • It’s embarrassing
  • They think that it is their fault
  • They think no one will believe them
  • They think everyone will be mad at them
  • They feel guilty if the family splits up
  • They don’t want anyone to go to jail because of them
The more battered women and children we help to live safely, the fewer children will feel they need to turn to drugs, violence or gangs as alternatives to their violent homes. The way to help these children is to hold batterers accountable, and provide adequate support services to their mothers.