Witnessing domestic violence can have long-lasting negative effects on children. When domestic violence is in the home, many children directly witness the abuse occurring. Even if children do not see incidents of physical abuse in the home, they are often more aware of abuse than the abused parent realizes. Children can hear yelling and fighting noises from other rooms and witness the aftermath of physical abuse.
Children may respond to witnessing domestic violence in a variety of ways.
They may –
- Become fearful or anxious over what will happen in the home
- Always feel on guard – “walking on eggshells” to avoid the abusers outbursts
- Blame themselves for the violence in the home
- Have trouble concentrating in school
- Try to protect the abused parent
- Attempt to run away because they feel home is a dangerous place
- Experiment with alcohol, drugs, or other high risk behaviors to cope with their feelings
Children who have witnessed domestic violence need support. As parents who have experienced abuse seek support for themselves, there are also ways to help the children.
Here are some ways to support children who have experienced domestic violence:
- Let them know that the abuse is not their fault.
- Come up with a family safety plan for staying safe before, during and after leaving abuse. Our Family Safety Plan can help with this.
- After leaving the abuse, help the child connect with a counselor. Peace at Home offers counseling for families and many schools have options as well.
- Teach alternatives to violence.
- Give them daily reminders that they are loved, valued, and supported.
- Let them know you are here to listen if they want to talk about how the violence made them feel.
- Be a role model for treating others with respect and kindness.
On Wednesday, September 6th over 100 of our friends and supporters joined us for the ribbon cutting of our shelter expansion.
We were humbled to see so many of our community partners and neighbors at the event, including representatives from the Fayetteville and Springdale Chambers of Commerce, Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan, donors, volunteers, board members, and staff.
Photo Credit: Denise Garner
Now that our expansion is open, Peace at Home Family Shelter will be able to provide safe shelter to 350-400 adults and children fleeing violence every single year. As our Northwest Arkansas community continues to grow, this expansion could not have come at a more needed time.
We are so grateful to all of the donors who made this expansion possible and to our donors and supporters who give to Peace at Home every day to make safety and a new start possible for families in crisis. Thank you.
To see more photos from our event, click here.
In order to increase their partner’s dependence, an abuser will often cut them off from the outside world. Isolation can be tough to spot because it starts slowly, building over time, and the excuses for isolation are disguised as efforts to help.
In many cases, someone may not realize that their partner is isolating them until severe damage to social support networks has occurred. However, it is never too late to reestablish your connection to the world.
Below are a few red flags for isolating behavior.
Does your partner:
- Speak negatively about your friends or family. They are all liars or don’t really care about you, etc
- State that you do not need your friends or family and that they are just dragging you down.
- Makes us against them type statements, like “they’re jealous of how strong our relationship is” or “they just want to see us fail”
- Accuse you of cheating with friends or coworkers
- Always need to know who you are with and what you are doing
- Discourage you from working or going to school, or makes you stop altogether
- Make you “check in” via text or calls wherever you go
- Check your car mileage, grocery receipts, browser history, or text messages
- Control your access to the car, internet, or phone
- Make you ask permission to go places or see people without them
If you notice any of these signs in your relationship, consider seeking help by talking to a trusted friend or a Peace at Home advocate.
Everyone deserves healthy relationships built on mutual trust, respect, and understanding.
Domestic violence doesn’t stay home when its victims go to work. It can follow them, resulting in violence in the workplace. Or it can spill over into the workplace when a woman is harassed by threatening phone calls, absent because of injuries or less productive from extreme stress. With nearly one-third of American women reporting being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, it is a certainty that in any mid-to-large sized company, domestic violence is affecting employees. It is crucial that domestic abuse be seen as a serious, recognizable, and preventable problem by the community at large and by business leaders.
Domestic violence affects the workplace and economy in many ways:
- Each year, domestic violence costs the US approximately $1.8 billion in lost productivity.
- 74% of employed domestic violence victims were harassed by their abusive partner while at work.
- 71% of Employee Assistance Program providers surveyed have dealt with an employee being stalked at workby a current of former partner.
Domestic violence often becomes workplace violence. The lethality of domestic violence often increases at times when the batterer believes that the victim has left the relationship. Once a woman attempts to leave an abusive partner, the workplace can become the only place the assailant can locate and harm her.
Businesses, churches, and community organizations can take a proactive approach to supporting survivors of domestic violence by:
- Educating employees about domestic violence and how to access help
- Offering resources through a confidential employee assistance program
- Developing an organizational domestic violence policy, including leave policies and security measures
- Collaborating with local domestic violence organizations and law enforcement agencies for education and service referrals.
It is important for our entire community to work together to help victims of domestic violence and promote safe workplaces and safe neighborhoods, because domestic violence impacts all of us.