Effects on Children

Children who grow up in homes in which domestic abuse is taking place will always be affected, regardless of whether they actually witness any violence or not. Experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse as a child may lead to the development of a range of developmental, behavioural and emotional problems. Early intervention is one of the best ways to counteract the effects of witnessing abuse. There are a number of ways to help children overcome the trauma:


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  • Counselling from professionals at their school, GP’s and the local child services.
  • Understand that counselling may not work at first and you may need to experiment with various types: play therapy, peer support groups, anger management classes and safety programs to teach kids how to extract themselves from dangerous situations.
  • Spending time with a supporting adult to encourage the child to once again build trusting relationships is key to the child’s ongoing development.
  • Provide a safe environment that does not include violence in any form after a child has witnessed domestic violence.
  • Find consequence-based ways to discipline that do not involve hitting, name-calling, yelling or any form of verbally aggressive behaviour.
  • Help children create a sense of safety by having scheduled routines, such as regular meals and homework times.

If you are worried about the effects that an abusive relationship is having on your child and you would like to access support and advice, see below for details of agencies that can help. You can also give us a call on our confidential Referral and Advice line 020 8317 8273.



Here you can get help and advice about a wide range of issues and talk to a counsellor online.

Website: www.childline.org.uk

Helpline: 0800 1111




Family Rights Group

Information for mothers whose children are involved with Children’s Services because of domestic abuse.

Website: http://www.frg.org.uk/need-help-or-advice/parents/domestic-violence-advice

Parent Support Group

For parents/carers with adolescent children. Offers a helpline, individual counselling, weekly drop-in sessions and ‘Living with challenging behaviour’ courses. Self-referral available.

Address: 72 Blackheath Road, Greenwich SE10 8DA

Website: www.psg.org.uk

Helpline: 020 8469 0205

Email: admin@psg.org.uk

Family Matters

Specialist, confidential counselling, advice and helpline service for children and adult survivors of rape and sexual assault. Service delivered at various locations in the borough.

Website: www.familymattersuk.org

Helpline: 01474 537 392

Mums’ support group @ Brookhill Children’s Centre

Treatment workers provide support to mothers who have issues with drugs or alcohol. Childcare provided to support sessions.

Phone: 020 8854 2859

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