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What About Children?

Growing up in a violent home has a devastating effect on children. Children in homes where domestic violence occurs:

  • Are physically abused or neglected at a rate significantly higher than the national average for children from all homes. 

  • Are at higher risk for alcohol and drug abuse and juvenile delinquency than children from nonviolent homes. Juvenile delinquents are four times as likely as non-delinquents to be from homes where the father battered the mother. 

  • Often suffer emotional effects, including constant anxiety, fear of abandonment and guilt for not being able to stop the abuse or for loving the abuser. Without professional help, these problems continue into adulthood. 

Children also learn how to be abusers from growing up in violent homes. Boys who witness domestic violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than boys raised in non-violent homes. Therefore, domestic violence today is a precursor of future domestic violence.