Common childhood illnesses & well-being
A guide for parents and carers
Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse

Keeping your child safe

Children are affected in many ways. They may feel frightened, become withdrawn, aggressive or difficult, bedwet, run away, have problems at school, lack concentration and suffer emotional upset.

Long-term effects

Domestic abuse places children at risk of significant harm and professional support is needed. It is best that action is taken early to stop things getting worse. Long-term abuse is much more likely to cause problems for a child or young person as they get older.

The longer children are exposed to violence, the more severe the effects on them are. These can include a lack of respect for the non-violent parent, loss of self-confidence (which will affect their ability to form relationships in the future), being over-protective of a parent, loss of childhood, problems at school and running away.

Children need time to discuss the feelings they have about violence or abuse. Children need to know that it is not their fault and that this is not the way relationships should be.

Keep them safe

  • Tell someone.

  • Call 999 if you are in immediate danger.

  • Think about a plan of action.

  • Find out about local services.

  • Think of ways you can increase their safety.

Domestic abuse affects many families across Lancashire. Women are at increased risk of domestic abuse during pregnancy and the first year after giving birth, even if there has not been any abuse before. Children do hear, they do see and they are aware of violence at home, even if you think they don’t. Children react in different ways to violence and research suggests that they are more likely to become abusers or victims later in life.

Many people find it difficult to understand why people stay in abusive situations. Fear, love, the risk of homelessness and money worries can make it difficult for women with children to leave. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you are not the only victim - your children are too. You can report domestic abuse to any professional. There are many agencies working in Lancashire who will help you to access support from a range of specialist services. For more information, call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

1

It is not your fault.

2

Victims often feel isolated, frightened or humiliated.

3

Access support, whatever your circumstances.

You can call the free 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.