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Impacts on Children and Young People

Impacts on Children and Young People

Womens Aid Dundalk Impacts on childrena nd young peopleWe first think of children and young people experiencing domestic abuse by physically being present during an altercation, however, they can also be aware of it without ever seeing or hearing an argument.

Children are more observant that we often give them credit for. They pick up on things like snide remarks, hushed arguments, bruises, a shift in behaviour when an abusive parent enters a room, or the mood of a parent when they are under stress due to living with abuse.

Children are completely dependent on the adults around them and if they don’t feel safe in their own homes, this can have many negative physical and psychological effects. Children may show some of the below symptoms at different points in their lives:


  • Physical injury
  • Being overly protective of mother/siblings
  • Feeling helpless
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecurity
  • Temper tantrums
  • Developmental delays
  • Running away from home
  • Behavioural problems
  • Bullying
  • Disruption to education
  • Confusion
  • Bed wetting
  • Poor social skills
  • Withdrawal
  • CPTSD (Childhood Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Young People/Teenagers

  • Truancy
  • Self-harm
  • Substance misuse
  • Limited problem-solving skills
  • A belief in gender stereotypes
  • Imitating abusive behaviours
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Guilt
  • High levels of aggression
  • Hostility
  • Poor physical health
  • Advanced maturity
  • Seeking out unhealthy relationships
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Nightmares/issues sleeping
  • Eating disorders
  • Feeling responsible for the abuse