How you can help your children
Most children appreciate an opportunity to acknowledge the abuse and to talk about what they are feeling.
Do talk to your children – and listen to them.
Try to be honest about the situation, without frightening them, in an age appropriate manner. Reassure them that the abuse is not their fault and that they are not responsible for adult behaviour.
Explain to them that abuse is wrong and that it does not solve problems.
Remember, your children will naturally trust you – try not to break that trust by directly lying to them.
Encourage your children to talk about their wishes and feelings. You could do this perhaps by doing an activity together, or encouraging them to draw or write about what is happening and how they feel about it. Your child’s teacher may be able to help you with this.
Sometimes children will wait until they feel safe and are no longer in the violent environment before they start to talk about their feelings.
You could suggest that your children look at the Women’s Aid website for children and young people, The Hideout. This website has information, activities, a quiz and stories of children living with domestic abuse.
You may believe it is best for your children if you try to keep the family together in order to provide the security of a home and father.
However, children will feel more secure and will be safer living with one parent in a stable environment than with two parents when the environment is unstable and abusive.