Domestic abuse through your child’s eyes: Parenting guide

Domestic abuse through your child's eyes: Parenting guideThis resource is a guide for parents who have experienced domestic abuse to help them understand the impacts on their children and how to support them. It emphasizes that even if children don’t directly witness violence, just living in that environment affects them.

Common myths are debunked, like thinking young children are unaware or that it doesn’t impact them if the abuse isn’t directed at them. The guide explains how children can learn unhealthy lessons from the violence, like it being normal or their fault. Children may display concerning behaviors like aggression or withdrawal.

The guide stresses the importance of maintaining a loving connection and open communication with children, while getting support for oneself as a parent. Simple parenting tips are provided like hugging, smiling, and praising the child. Signs that may indicate a child needs therapeutic support are covered.

The key message is that while exposure to violence harms children, with caring support from their parent and access to specialist services, children can heal and recover. Therapeutic services use approaches like play therapy and art to help children process their experiences, feel safe and supported. These services work with the whole family.

Maintaining a loving parent-child bond is critical. Referral information for support services is included in the guide. Even though children are greatly impacted by living with domestic violence, the guide emphasizes that with the right support, children have the ability to overcome adversity and heal. But they need caring support from their parent and access to specialist services.