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Domestic and family violence tears lives apart. One in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence, or both, caused by someone known to them. It affects women, children, the family and the community. And it has big personal, social and economic effects.
1 in 4 children are exposed to domestic violence.
(Source: Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse 2011, The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children: A Literature Review)
Of those women who experience violence, more than 50% have children in their care. Children and young people don't have to see the violence to be affected by it. Studies show that living with domestic violence can cause physical and emotional harm to children and young people in the following ways:
Young people exposed to domestic and family violence are more likely to:
Children and young people need to grow up in a secure and nurturing environment. Where domestic or family violence exists, the home is not safe or secure and children are scared about what might happen to them and the people they love.
In utero - An unborn child may be injured in the womb due to violence aimed at the mother’s abdomen or suffer from exposure to drugs or alcohol that a mother may use to cope with stress.
Babies - An infant exposed to violence may have difficulty developing attachments with their caregivers and in extreme cases suffer from failure to thrive.
Toddler - A preschooler’s development may be affected and they can suffer from eating and sleep disturbances.
Child - A school-aged child may struggle with peer relationships, academic performance, and emotional stability.
Teenager - An adolescent may be at higher risk of substance misuse or of either perpetrating or becoming a victim of dating violence.
Sometimes being exposed to domestic and family violence isn’t just a matter of witnessing it. Children and young people are often physically hurt during violent episodes, either accidentally or deliberately.
Children and young people need to grow up in a secure and nurturing environment. Where domestic or family violence exists, the home is not safe or secure and children are scared about what might happen to them and the people they love
22 Nov 2022
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