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How exposure to domestic violence negatively impacts your child

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Domestic Violence |

As a parent, you have a drive to do everything you can to keep your child safe. While that means providing for them so that their basic needs are met, it also includes protecting them from dangerous environments. And that’s exactly what you might have to do if your child is exposed to violence in their other parent’s household.

How exposure to domestic violence harms children

Domestic violence can take a toll on a child who has been exposed to it. In fact, they can experience any of the following:

  • Regressive behaviors to include bed-wetting, excessive crying, and thumb sucking.
  • The development of increased stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • The onset of guilt when they’re unable to protect the victim of the domestic violence.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Social isolation.
  • Poor school performance.
  • Increased likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse.
  • The utilization of aggression and violence to deal with problems.
  • An increased risk of either being an abuser or being abused in a domestic relationship as they get older.
  • An increased risk of emotional, psychological, and even physical health problems.

What can you do if your child is being exposed to domestic violence?

Although you’ll want to get your child mental health support to deal with what they’ve witnessed, you need to ensure their immediate safety. This could require an emergency filing with the court, but you’ll ultimately have to file a motion to modify custody if you want to restrict the other parent’s ongoing access to your child.

To succeed on one of these motions, you’ll need evidence demonstrating that domestic violence is occurring in the home while your child is present. Police records might be helpful here, but so, too, are your child’s own statements. Just make sure you’re being thorough so that you can build the arguments needed to protect your child and their best interests.



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