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How Family Violence Affects a Child’s Well-Being

 Posted on December 20, 2023 in Domestic Violence

Blog ImageChildren who witness domestic violence or who experience the violence first hand will likely suffer both short and long-term damage. The short-term damage is often obvious but the long-term damage can go unnoticed well into adulthood. When domestic violence arises in a household, whether you require immediate support for your children or an order of protection for yourself, it is a good idea to involve a lawyer as soon as possible.

Short-Term Effects of Domestic Violence in Children

Children can be affected in many ways after witnessing or experiencing domestic violence from a family member, especially one of authority. The age in which the violence takes place is also a factor in how it will affect them. A minor child may have no idea what is going on when it occurs or have no understanding of why it is happening in the first place. An older child may simply feel powerless to prevent it.

Some of the effects that a child may experience after suffering domestic violence include:

  • Children younger than five years old - thumb-sucking, increased fussiness or crying, bed-wetting, nightmares, difficulty sleeping

  • Children of grade school age - Dramatic drop in confidence, heightened anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, reclusive or antisocial behavior

  • Teenagers - Lashing out, increased risky behavior, engaging in fights, bullying, depression, appear withdrawn

Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence in Children

Long-term problems of domestic abuse in childhood tend to go unnoticed until it is too big to ignore. Some of the same problems that occur in the short term can follow children into adulthood. Some of the more major issues that stem from childhood trauma from domestic violence include:

  • Depression

  • Difficulty developing and maintaining relationships (i.e. business, romantic)

  • High risk of sadness

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • High-risk health problems (i.e. diabetes, obesity, heart disease)

  • Repeating the abuse

Domestic Violence Prevention and Recovery

Since domestic violence has such an impact on a child’s well-being, it is important to make their safety a priority. Your children require the necessary support and protection from exposure to domestic violence. Teach your children a healthier way to look at relationships. Help them understand the value of healthier interaction between individuals and how they can resolve disputes more civilly. Educate your children on how to handle their anger in a more healthy way to end the cycle of domestic violence.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney

Family and domestic violence is an evil that will continue to breed until it can be snuffed out with the proper precautions and appropriate actions. Protect your children at all costs from those who would do them harm. If at any point you feel your children are in danger, reach out to a support center for immediate help. Afterward, contact a Wheaton, IL domestic violence attorney for help with legal matters.

Whether you are looking to divorce an abuser or take out a restraining order or order of protection, the law office of Fawell & Fawell is here to help. Contact the firm at 630-871-2400 for a free and empathetic consultation today.

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