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Impact of Domestic Abuse on Children – Childhood Day


While every child deserves a safe and nurturing environment, the harsh reality is that over 800,000 children are affected by domestic abuse. Understanding the impact of domestic abuse on children is essential to providing the support they need to thrive physically and emotionally.

Childhood Day is an opportunity to help keep children safe, raise awareness about domestic abuse, and get involved to raise money for the NSPCC.

The impact of domestic abuse on children

Domestic abuse can have profound and lasting effects on children, both physically and emotionally. These impacts can vary depending on the severity and duration of the abuse, but common consequences include:

Emotional and psychological trauma

Children exposed to domestic abuse often experience fear, anxiety, and depression. They may struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness and these emotional scars can lead to difficulties in forming healthy relationships later in life.

Behavioural issues

Children who witness or experience domestic abuse are more likely to exhibit aggressive or antisocial behaviour, they may also struggle with academic performance and face challenges in school settings.

Physical health problems

The stress and anxiety caused by domestic abuse can manifest in physical health problems, such as headaches, stomach aches, and other stress-related conditions. In severe cases, children may suffer from injuries or developmental delays as a direct result of physical abuse.

Supporting children affected by domestic abuse

Addressing the impact of domestic abuse on children requires a holistic multi-agency approach involving parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and community organisations. Here are some key strategies:

Early intervention

Identifying signs of abuse early can prevent further harm. This requires training teachers, doctors, caregivers, or anyone surrounded by the child to recognise and respond to signs of domestic abuse. For more information on early intervention, please read the Early Help System Guide.

Counselling and support services

Providing children with access to counselling and therapeutic services can help them process their experiences and begin to heal. Childhood Day is an opportunity to raise money for these services so that more children have access to the support they need. Some counselling and support services to consider are Barnardo’s, Refuge, and Young Minds.

Safe environments

Ensuring that children have safe places to go, whether it’s a relative’s home, a shelter, or a community centre, is crucial for their protection and recovery.

Childhood Day 2024

Childhood Day reminds us of the innocence and joy that every child deserves, however, it also highlights the importance of acknowledging and addressing the impact of domestic abuse on children. By raising awareness and providing support, we can help ensure that all children have the opportunity to grow up in safe and loving environments.

As a training provider, we offer a range of courses that provide the knowledge and support people need to care for and look out for those who are suffering from an adverse childhood. These training courses cover topics such as dealing with adverse childhood experiences, an introduction to faith and belief-based abuse, breast ironing, child protection, domestic violence, and much more.