Children & Domestic Violence


Children and domestic violence studies show the following:

  • 3 to 4 million children between the ages of 3 to 17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence each year.
  • Childhood abuse and trauma has a high correlation to emotional and physical problems in adulthood.
  • Childhood domestic violence experiences can negatively affect a developing brain, creating a series of negative beliefs lasting into adulthood.
  • Childhood exposure to domestic violence is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
  • Up to 90% of children living in homes with domestic violence, know what is happening.

Children Who Experience Violence

Those who experience childhood domestic violence are six times more likely to commit suicide, 50% more likely to abuse alcohol and/or drugs, and 74% more likely to commit a violent crime.

Children Who Witness Violence

Children who witness domestic violence may display the following responses.

Physical Responses

  • Bed-wetting
  • Headaches
  • Loss of concentration
  • Stomach-aches

Behavioral Responses

  • Acting out
  • Aggression
  • Delayed speech, motor or cognitive skills
  • Self-injury
  • Withdrawal/isolation

Emotional Responses

  • Anger (at both parties)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Sleep disturbances

“The single best predictor of children becoming either perpetrators or victims of domestic violence later in life is whether or not they grow up in a home where there is domestic violence."

- Unicef