Many victims of domestic violence think they are protecting their kids or they think the kids are not affected by the abuse since they’re aren’t the ones being hit. I can personally say that I myself didn’t see how much my own children could be affected by what was happening at home. They are still fairly young and have not really talked to me about it, but statistics show that the effects of domestic violence on children in the home can be devastating. I will talk to them about it when the time is right. I know that they have suffered though. Just how much is what I fear.
Did you know?
- 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence each year and 90% of them see it first hand.
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
- Children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
- Children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.
When I read these statistics I feel absolutely horrible. One of my daughters always complained about stomachaches and the other of headaches. I can’t prove that the reasons for their complaints were due to the fights their father and I had, but my educated guess is that they are. One of my daughters even tried to intervene once. Luckily she was not hurt, but she could have been. I should never have put her in that situation.
I wrote about a victim I had recently met with who told me her kids were used to it. I’ve had others say that it doesn’t happen when their kids are there or they are in another room. The thing is, kids are smarter than we give them credit…they see and hear more than we think and it hurts them. Sometimes they hurt even more than we do when we get hit. The thing that really did it for me and gave me what I needed to leave my ex was my kids. For years I thought staying with their father was what they needed or wanted, but I was wrong. What was I teaching them? Was I teaching them that it was ok to fight with your partner? When they grow up, are they going to choose a man who abuses them also? Statistics show that they do. I hope there is still time for them to see what a true loving relationship is supposed to be like. I hope that they won’t settle for less than what they deserve. I hope that my children don’t live the life I have lived.
Kids are our future and we owe it to them to do right by them and give them the best chance at a successful life. I wish I could take back what my kids lived with.