Children and Domestic Violence


Children who live with domestic violence face increased risks: the risk of exposure to traumatic events, the risk of neglect, the risk of being directly abused, and the risk of losing one or both of their parents. All of these may lead to negative outcomes for children and may affect their well-being, stability and safety.

Childhood problems associated with exposure to domestic violence fall into three categories: behavioral, social and emotional problems; cognitive and attitudinal problems; and long-term problems including adult depression and increased use of violence.


  • Estimates are that 12 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
  • A national survey revealed that 50% of men who frequently assaulted their wives also   frequently assaulted their children.
  • Even a child who is not directly abused suffer posttraumatic stress disorder when they see their mothers beaten.
  • Sons from severely violent homes report intimate partner violence rates 1,000% greater than those from non-violent domiciles.
  • Children aged 5 years who were exposed to high levels of domestic violence had lower IQs than those not exposed.

Domestic Abuse Services for Children Includes individual, family and group counseling

Includes individual and group mentoring

YWCA Domestic Abuse Services training is available for child protective service workers, teachers, social workers, community members, court appointed special advocates, foster parents, psychologists and others who must understand the negative impact on children who witness domestic violence. For more information and to schedule training contact

If you are in a crisis and need immediate help, please call the YWCA 24-hour, confidential domestic violence hotline: 203-622-0003