While the horrors of abuse are apparent in primary victims—children who witness the abuse of their mothers, fathers, or other family members, are impacted.

The effects of domestic abuse on children may be apparent within a short period of time, while other damages may be noticed in the long run.

When teenagers witness domestic abuse, they tend to act out in reaction to the situation. They may fight, skip school, engage in risky sexual activities, or dabble in drugs and alcohol. These teenagers are also very likely to get in trouble with the law.

In some cases, early exposure to abuse simply sets the stage for children to walk that same line in adulthood. In these cases, male children might physically abuse their partners after watching their fathers do the same. Likewise, women from homes that witness domestic violence are more likely to be sexually assaulted by their partners in adulthood.

One of the best ways to protect the interest and well-being of a child is for victims to receive the necessary support they need to leave the abusive environment. By doing this, children are spared further exposure to violence and are given a chance to grow up within healthier structures.

Children should be taught healthy ways to resolve disputes in friendships. It’s important that they learn wholesome ways that partners can relate with each other, taking care to share why violence has no place in relationships.