Our Children Are Suffering – Parents Are Not The Only Victims of Domestic Violence


We tend to think marital arguments in a home behind closed doors only affect adults, but in fact, domestic violence has severe and long-term impacts on children. Domestic violence comes in many forms.

  1. Physical
  2. Sexual
  3. Psychological
  4. Emotional
  5. Economic

Children who witness domestic violence face a series of childhood problems including: behavioral and emotional; cognitive functioning and attitudes; and longer-term implications. The Child Behavior Checklist and similar measures show that children who witness domestic violence tend to be more aggressive and antisocial and display a lack of self-control. Other issues include:

  • Anxiety
  • Self Esteem
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Temperament

Children witnessing their mothers being abused show less skill in understanding how others feel and examining situations from others’ perspectives. A child’s attitude and the use of violence and conflict resolution is directly compromised as well. Children exposed to adult domestic violence will justify their own use of violence. Adolescent boys incarcerated for violent crimes who have been exposed to family violence believe that acting aggressively enhances their image and reputation.

Studies have also shown that adults witnessing violence as a child was associated with adult reports of depression, trauma-related symptoms and low self-esteem among women. These adults have also shown alcohol abuse and higher incidents of divorce.

Children don’t choose to be in violent households and if parents don’t realize how damaging their violent actions can be, children witnessing violence will face a life of behavioral and emotional issues.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, you can contact any one of these organizations in our Jacksonville community. The services are available to you at no cost.

Hubbard House 904-354-3114

Florida Department of Children and Families1-800-500-1119

Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence1-800-500-1119

Women’s Shelters

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid 904-356-8371

City of Jacksonville Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team 904-630-6300

Duval County Clerk of the Circuit Court 904-255-2000

Jacksonville Sheriffs Office 904-630-0500