How does domestic violence affect children?

Children who are victims of domestic violence (physical or emotional) suffer in many ways, even if they are just witnessing the abuse between their parents.

During childhood, children may be withdrawn and unable to form lasting friendships. They may also act out and have behavioral problems at school. During adolescence, these problems often get worse, causing the child to develop eating disorders or drug addiction. They may engage in risky or self-destructive behavior.

Unfortunately, these problems rarely go away in adulthood without therapy. Adults who witnessed or suffered from domestic violence as children sometimes repeat the abuse cycle against others. Or, they get involved in abusive relationships.