Nearly every relationship is subjected to disagreements at one time or another. Yet, far too often those disputes diverge into something much more serious than an argument. Physical intimidation, striking and emotional abuse can all occur, and could leave the victim fearful for his or her safety. Though domestic violence can take a toll on one party to a relationship, it can also have dramatic effects on children.
Children who witness abuse, that is, who see or hear threats or physical violence, may feel threatened, unsafe and vulnerable. They may never know when the next incident will occur, which might leave them in a constant state of fear. They might worry about their siblings and their mother or father who is being abused. Also, these children often feel isolated as one parent is merely trying to survive abuse while the other is trying to control the family. This leaves the children abandoned in more ways than one, and could lead to negative behaviors.
Witnessing physical and emotional abuse can also have long-term effects on children. They may grow up thinking that violence is an adequate way to resolve disputes and therefore grow up to be abusers themselves. Some may even expect violence and emotional abuse to be normal in a relationship. Then, once old enough to enter into a relationship, they may choose someone who is abusive toward them.
Domestic violence, therefore, has wide-ranging and severe effects on all parties involved. It may be frightening to stand up to an abuser, but it is often necessary to protect one's self and health, safety and the future of one's children. One way to put an end to abuse is to seek a protective order. Those who think they could benefit from one of these orders may want to discuss the matter with an experienced and compassionate family law attorney.
Source: Domestic Violence Roundtable, "The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children," accessed on Dec. 12, 2015