Children’s experiences of violence

Children see, hear and are affected by living with violence in the family. Children may directly witness their father or other male family member threatening or hitting their mother and therefore live in a very vulnerable situation.

Violence has an immediate impact on children’s health and well-being. Children who grow up with violence in their everyday life can develop behavioural problems, sleeping difficulties, eating disorders, under- or overdeveloped social competence (takes responsibility, grows up too quickly, overachieves), anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and feelings of guilt and shame. Children may also have been subjected to physical, psychological or sexual violence themselves.