Domestic Violence: Healing doesn’t come with a manual.
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual—and healing from domestic violence doesn’t, either. You don’t often hear about the impact that domestic violence can have on children. Just as adult survivors may suffer from stress and trauma, children also have unique ways of coping.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, effects that children may experience after being exposed to domestic violence include:
- Generalized anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- High activity levels
- Increased aggression
- Increased anxiety about being separated from a parent
- Intense worry about their safety or the safety of a parent
Long-term effects may include:
- Physical health problems
- Behavior problems in adolescence (e.g., juvenile delinquency, alcohol, substance abuse)
- Emotional difficulties in adulthood (e.g., depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD)
As with all survivors of trauma, not all young survivors of domestic violence react in the same ways. Children may experience all, some, or none of these effects, in varying levels of intensity.
That’s where we come in. Our Early Childhood specialists help families impacted by domestic violence learn ways to for themselves and their children to start healing together.
What does that support look like? Based on each family’s unique situation and needs, support takes the form of therapeutic art & play sessions, emotional support, classes on parenting skills and child development, and other child-focused activities.
“I learned how to talk to my children about things that have happened that I and how to answer their questions in a positive way. I also learned it’s good to allow them to have feelings and to share them.”
“Having space to talk with my kids about the domestic violence we’ve experienced, my injury in particular, and showing my kids that I love them and they can depend on me has been so important.”
“I don’t know how I would have gotten through the experience of leaving my abusive situation and learning about support to help my daughter had it not been without Impact NW. I was heard and helped and so has my daughter.”
Learn more about our programs that support parent and child survivors of domestic violence by clicking here.