Effects of Abuse on Children

Behind each of these statistics are real children who struggle to deal and cope with domestic violence every day. Children who live in homes with domestic violence can be greatly affected by emotional, verbal, and physical abuse they witness or experience resulting in many symptoms of trauma. Many children will feel responsible for not being able to prevent or stop the abuse from happening and will continue to blame themselves for things out of their control. We must help children understand that the violence that occurs at home is not their fault.

  • 5 million children witness domestic violence each year in the US.
  • 40 million adult Americans grew up living with domestic violence.
  • Children from homes with violence are much more likely to experience significant psychological problems short- and long-term.
  • Children who’ve experienced domestic violence often meet the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). and the effects on their brain are similarly to those experienced by combat veterans.
  • Domestic violence in childhood is directly correlated with difficulties learning, lower IQ scores, deficiencies in visual-motor skills and problems with attention and memory.
  • Living with domestic violence significantly alters a child’s DNA, aging them prematurely 7-10 years.
  • Children in homes with violence are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate 1500% higher than the national average.
  • Those who grow up with domestic violence are 6 times more likely to commit suicide and 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • If you grow up with domestic violence, you’re 74 times more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else.
  • Children of domestic violence are 3 times more likely to repeat the cycle in adulthood, as growing up with domestic violence is the most significant predictor of whether or not someone will be engaged in domestic violence later in life.
    (Statistics taken from Children of Domestic Violence.)