Domestic Abuse – I thought I could handle it
In 90% of domestic abuse incidents, children are in the same or next room.
At least 750,000 children witness domestic abuse every year.
Kerry though she could ‘handle it’ – and it took a long time and great deal of harm before she realised that she couldn’t. No-one could.
Affects of Domestic Abuse from conception to 2:
- Unborn baby may be target of attack
- Premature birth Stillbirth
- Low birth weight
- Poor antenatal care
- Baby feels their mother’s fear and anxiety and exhibits signs of stress
- Poor health
- Difficulty sleeping and settling
- Excessive screaming or crying
- Frozen awareness (‘bunny in the headlights’)
- Slow emotional development
- Withdrawn or challenging behaviour
- Poor attachments/bonding with parents/others
(‘In Plain Sight: Effective Help For Children Exposed to Domestic Abuse’, 2013, CAADA ( Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse’ )
An estimated 130,000 children in the UK live in households with high risk domestic abuse; that is, where there is a significant risk of harm or death.
6% of all children are estimated to be exposed to severe domestic abuse between adults in their homes at some point in childhood. Thousands more live with other levels of domestic abuse every single day.
Children are at greater risk of direct harm if they are exposed to domestic abuse. 62% of children exposed were also directly harmed.
Exposure to domestic abuse causes serious physical and psychological harm to children.
There is a relationship between the cessation of domestic abuse and cessation of direct harm to children.
(A Place Of Greater Safety’, 2012, CAADA)
66% of victims in our dataset had children living in or visiting the home where domestic abuse was taking place. Most of these children were under 5 and had been living with abuse for the majority of their lives. On average it took those with children a year longer to access support than those without children.
Children who live with domestic abuse are at increased risk of behavioural problems and emotional trauma as well as mental health difficulties later in life.
(‘Kidspeak: Giving Children and Young People a Voice on Domestic Abuse’, 2007, Jackie Barron, Women’s Aid.)
“Domestic violence of any kind is never ok. Sadly, as we have found it doesn’t just end with the act itself when the perpetrator stops – but goes on to have far reaching and a continuous impact on the victim, the children and even the children’s children. Research has shown that many children who grew up in a domestically abusive home grow up either as perpetrators themselves or enablers. We can’t just turn a blind eye any more….the elephant is definitely resident in the room.”Zina Arinze – Divorce Recovery Coach, Believe and Live Again
Parents with children often stay and try to make the marriage work because of the children, not wanting children to grow up without a parent. They don’t want to take the child and move into refuge, and don’t have anywhere else to go with child. They also fear that they would be unable to financially support themselves and child.
None of these are good reasons to stay in an abusive relationship. Women’s Aid can help resolve all of those issues and help direct abused women and men to the support they need.
With many thanks to Kerry Caligari for sharing her story.
For resources to support co-parenting with a ‘difficult’ co-parent, join our Secret Divorce Group.
If you feel unsafe at home, call:
Women’s Aid UK: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
Mens Aid UK: https://www.mensaid.co.uk/
SuzyMillerCreator of Best Way To Divorce. International Divorce Divorce Strategist and TEDx Speaker.
6th March 2022
4th June 2023
what is family arbitration?
Family arbitration can be a powerful tool in the peace toolbox, whether you are divorcing in the UK, US, Australia, Canada – or anywhere else arbitration exists. Compared to going to court, arbitration – also known as having a ‘private judge’ – saves the money and a whole load of time. What’s really important, is […]Read More
#Divorce TV Show - 80,000 Pennies, Controlling the Money, and Breathe into the Heart
#Divorce TV Show – 80,000 Pennies, Controlling the Money, and Breathe into the Heart Thank you to my guests: Jonathan Burston of Fearless Divorce, Nikki Ramskill & Scott Schwenk See previous episodes at www.divorcetvshow.com Register here to watch the next episode of The Divorce TV Show: https://suzymiller.synduit.com/FTWP0001 Want to share your co-parenting or divorce story? […]Read More
Alternative Divorce Radio Show Episode 2
Sometimes challenging, sometimes inspiring. Always authentic. A radio show for real people experiencing divorce and family breakup. In Episode 2 of the Alternative Divorce Radio Show, we hear from: Psychotherapist Caron Barruw who talks about the trauma of the divorce process itself, and what happens when children get caught up in that process. The […]Read More