Children and Domestic Violence

Children can be affected by domestic violence in different ways depending on their age, gender and stage of development.

Domestic violence can affect the way children think and feel in relation to themselves, their families and their life.

Children Behaviours Associated with Domestic Violence

What might children learn from living with domestic violence?

Children living with domestic violence are not able to grow up in a healthy and secure environment. They may be mistreated and may possibly be in danger of harm during the violence. 

Children living with domestic violence may feel ashamed and they might learn that:

  • You can get what you want through violence
  • You can either act as the aggressor or the victim
  • Victims are responsible for the violence
  • Loved ones can hurt you
  • You can expect relationships to be unequal and unhealthy
  • Women are not entitled to be treated with respect

What might children learn from living in a positive home environment?

Parenting children in positive ways helps children:

  • Grow into healthy, capable and caring people
  • Develop social skills
  • Learn to trust judgement
  • Learn to respect others
  • To be resilient
  • Learn healthy problem solving
  • Learn empathy
  • Learn to be a good role model for others

Information and help resources

If you are in need of assistance because you are in an abusive situation, please check Where to Go for Help in Waterloo Region for contact information of local programs and services that can help.