One in five children is exposed to domestic abuse. Of this 20%, approximately 90% of those are eyewitnesses.
My child isn’t affected
Wrong, children are sponges. Even in the early years, they will take in everything around them. Remember the time you got lost driving? Your child does. They will commit to memory a person who has harmed one of their parents. They are very keen to their surroundings and are capable of picking up on psychological abuse as well as physical violence.
Helping a child cope
Children cope in various ways but some of them are not constructive. Do rebellion, anger, and social isolation sound familiar. There are also more extreme consequences such as self-harm. This is more likely in teenagers who have already been victims of bullies in the past or already have a low self-esteem.
Not all children are willing to reach out to a parent in these circumstances. Many because they are afraid of what the parent might think and others out of fear.
Encourage them to reach out to friends
Friendships at any age are fostered by open communication. If a child is unwilling to reach out to parent, encourage them to talk to a friend.
Ask them to reach out to other members of the family
Maybe a child is younger or keeps to themselves. Social isolation may lead to less trust in friends but more trust in a family member. This family member may be able to help them form a support network.
School counselors, teachers, and family friends cannot be discounted in being a valued help. It could be any adult/guardian with whom your child feels safe in confiding.