Children & Domestic Violence
The resilience of mothers and their children resonates with me. Some of our families face many barriers to a better life through no fault of their own. They must do things to get back on their feet that would be difficult for anyone, much less someone who just left their whole lives behind and is actively coping with the recent trauma. Yet somehow so many of them do find the strength deep within themselves to hope and work for a better future; it feels like a privilege to get support from someone on that kind of uplifting personal journey.
When looking at domestic violence in children, it affects them all differently, but all who experience it can be at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems. Domestic violence creates an environment where many children live in constant fear, nervously trying to anticipate when the next assault will happen. Some common effects may be:
- Developmental delays
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty paying attention in school
- Increased headaches
- Body aches
Additionally, children affected by domestic violence are at higher risk of experiencing long-term health concerns later in life, such as:
- Brain damage
- High blood pressure
- Eating disorders
- Heart disease
I have witnessed all these effects on the various children I’ve worked with at Friendship Home. Almost every child I work with struggles with anxiety, depression, and night terrors to some extent. Most younger children have severe separation anxiety from their mothers and many older children struggle with making and keeping friends when they switch schools because they fear for their safety.
Like their mothers, children survivors of domestic violence are also incredibly resilient and can rebuild their confidence with a safe living environment, emotional support, and healthy relationships with their peers and trusted adults.
Take A Stand: https://vimeo.com/622624643
About the Author
In March 2020, Audrey started at Friendship Home and is currently serving as a children’s advocate. “The most rewarding part of my job is building relationships with the families I work with.” Audrey says, “It’s impossible not to admire and be inspired by these moms’ dedication to their children and themselves as they work so hard to build a new and better life for their families.”