Abuse and Children
Most abused women are very concerned about trying to protect their children from abuse. If you are living with an abusive partner, you are probably doing many things on a daily basis to keep yourself and/or your children as safe as possible.
Unfortunately, your abusive partner is making his own decisions about how to behave, and he is responsible for his violence. Whether your child is seeing or hearing abuse, or being abused directly, the impact on your child may be the same.
Impact of Abuse on Children
Children are impacted by abuse in a variety of ways. There are many ways you can (and likely already are) supporting your children to feel safe.
Sometimes the impact is caused by the stress of abuse. Other times, the impact is actually the child coping. They may be trying to keep you or other children safe or trying to stop the abuse from happening to himself or herself. Some examples of the impact of abuse are:
- Learning disabilities
- Behavioural issues such as ADD, ADHD
- Health problems such as chronic colds or rashes
- Depression, anxiety or other mental illness
- Desire to be perfect
- “Bad” behaviour
- Drug or alcohol use
- Missing school
Is my child in danger?
It is important for you to know that in Alberta, the law states that children who are exposed to family violence are considered to be at risk of abuse themselves. This means that if your partner is abusing you and there are children in the family, any citizen or professional is obliged to report this to the appropriate authorities.
If you know of a situation where a child needs help you can call the 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline at 403.234.7233 (SAFE) for more information.