Are you being hurt?
Children are sometimes intentionally hurt by an abusive parent, or they get caught in the middle of a domestic violence situation and are “accidentally” hurt or even killed.
If you are in danger and you need to talk to somebody right now, you can telephone ChildLine on 0800 1111.
Is another person in your family being hurt?
We know that children don’t necessarily have to be physically or verbally abused to be hurt by domestic violence.
Hearing or seeing the abuse of one parent by the other can deeply affect a child. Children can develop physical and/or emotional problems as a result of this that can last a lifetime.
How Domestic Violence may affect you:
You may grow up believing that violence is a normal part of family life. You may be more likely to be abusive as an adult because you have learnt the behaviour at home or you may be more passive and withdrawn.
You may live in daily fear of what to expect at home. Your lives may be filled with confusion, chaos, anger, and tension that can lead to lifelong fear and inability to trust others. You may feel isolated because the abusive parent could try and shut the family off from your friends and outside help or support. You may be feeling responsible for the abuse, that it is in some way your fault and you may also feel powerless to stop it.
No. Domestic violence can occur in any relationship boyfriend/girlfriend mother-father/daughter-son and also within same sex relationships. Domestic violence happens within all ages, cultures, genders and lifestyles.
Most recent statistics suggest that Domestic Violence affects 1 in 4 women at some point in their lives. 1 in 6 men may also be victims of domestic violence at some time.
Yes. Physical violence within a relationship or in the home is just as illegal as it would be if it happened between two strangers on the street. Therefore the abuser could be charged with assault, attempted murder and sadly sometimes murder. Verbal and emotional abuse can also result in criminal charges such as harassment.
The most important thing to remember is to keep SAFE. If you or someone you know is living with Domestic Violence you can call: NSPCC – 0800 800 500 CHILDLINE – 0800 1111
- You may have some physical symptoms like bruises and broken bones, you may get lots of headaches or stomach aches or you may feel sick much of the time.
- You may feel tired a lot and have difficulty sleeping, or you could want to sleep all of the time.
- If your parents are neglecting you, your clothes could be unwashed and you may have a poor diet and lack positive attention.
- You may feel depressed and have low self esteem and confidence, not really liking yourself. You may feel alone and isolated at school, feel different from everyone else and not able to join in with activities and friends.
- In difficult situations you may express a lot of anger and not know how you could deal with things differently
- You may have taken the role of carer to your non-abusing parent and feel that it’s your job to look after them. Or, if you have brothers or sisters you may be trying to protect them.
- You may feel really confused because you love the abuser and don’t want the family to split up.
- You probably feel afraid.
If you are feeling some of these things and you would like some help then please either go and tell an adult you trust or telephone ChildLine on 0800 1111.
Remember it is not your fault and it is not your responsibility to look after everyone.
Here are some ways to help yourself in domestic violence situations:
You need to make safety plans. Find places where you can be safe, make sure you know ways of getting out of the house quickly and make sure you know where you are going.
You need to have phone numbers of people that can help you. Try and memorize them. There is a good way to help you remember things, look at one of your hands and remember a telephone number and person for each finger. This can then be known to you as your safety hand.
You must always remember it is not your fault and try to protect yourself from the situation.
If you are in danger and need to talk to somebody right now, you can telephone ChildLine on 0800 1111.