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The negative effects of domestic violence on children

When children in Illinois are part of a family where there is domestic violence, they are undoubtedly affected in ways that could influence how they respond and react to certain triggers for the remainder of their lives. Understanding the negative effects of such violence on children is critical to realize the dire need of getting them help before it is too late. 

According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, children who witness violence or are unbeknownst to others, victims, are often silent sufferers of an epidemic that is a significant problem in many families. Children who experience violence in their home may also be the victims of neglect or abuse from their peers as well. Abuse can take on many forms including physical injuries and emotional trauma. 

The Child Welfare Information Gateway lists some of the effects of domestic violence on children to include the following:

  • Confusion about the type of treatment that is and is not acceptable in various relationships. 
  • Difficulty feeling comfortable in social settings.
  • Inability to trust others. 
  • Stunted developmental growth. 
  • Insensitivity to others needs or emotions. 

Fortunately, with timely intervention, child victims of domestic violence have the opportunity to recover from the mistreatment they have been subjected to. With consistent support and implementation of resources that are designed to provide encouragement, children can overcome many of the negative side effects of having been abused. It is imperative that caregivers help previously abused children to understand that the behaviors they witnessed are unacceptable and should not be tolerated if someone truly loves them and has their best interest at heart. 

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