Children are always affected by domestic violence. Whether they are awake or asleep, in the same room or in another room, whether they are in the womb, infants, or as old as teens, they are affected by emotional, psychological and physical abuse within the household, even when it is not directed toward them.
If children are exposed to the violence repeatedly, they can develop severe behavior changes, develop Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and their developing brains can be damaged. The State of California recognizes domestic violence as child abuse.
Children in abusive households may be subject to incest or sexual molestation, be physically or psychologically abused and controlled, and have their pets abused or threatened.
Below are some behavioral changes of children exposed to domestic violence, incest and abuse:
- Changes in sleeping and nursing or eating patterns
- Extreme clinginess
- Low self-esteem, Shyness, shame, isolation, withdrawal
- Over-responsibility, trying to care for the parent, defend the parent
- Violent behavior
- Submissive behavior
- Inability to concentrate