If any of these things happen in your home you might be living with domestic abuse:
Domestic abuse usually happens between adults who live together. It might involve one adult hurting another, being unkind or threatening or frightening them. Although domestic abuse is usually a man hurting a woman, it can also be a woman hurting a man. It can also involve brothers and sisters, uncles and other family members.
Domestic abuse harms children when they hear or see it going on, and sometimes they get caught in the middle of a fight. Children and young people can 'witness domestic abuse' in a variety of ways. Below is a list of some of the examples:
All children witnessing domestic abuse are being emotionally abused.
The majority of children and young people witness the abuse that is occurring and in about half of all domestic abuse situations, they are also being directly abused themselves.
A child or young person can experience both short and long term behavioural and emotional effects. Each child and young person will respond differently to trauma and some may be more resilient and not exhibit any negative effects.
A child or young person's responses to the trauma of witnessing domestic abuse may vary according to a multitude of factors including age, race, sex and stage of development.
Children and young people are individuals and may respond to witnessing abuse in different ways. These are some of the effects described in a briefing by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2004):
Adults in families often try to keep the domestic abuse a secret. However it is very important that you talk to someone you can trust so that you can get help for yourself or anyone who is being affected in your family. You and everyone in your family has the right to feel safe and happy at home.
There are a number of agencies that can help. You are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence. You can find these contacts on our links page.
In an emergency please call 999.
Domestic Violence and Abuse leaflet provides information, advice and support to people experiencing domestic abuse in Wandsworth.