We know, for some children and families, home might not be a safe place and staying there will be extremely challenging. Some may already be experiencing domestic abuse or worried an adult’s behaviour is changing and escalating.
If you and your family are in immediate danger call 999. If you’re unable to talk press 55 after dialing. It is okay to leave your home during lockdown if you’re experiencing abuse. The police can also remove the person harming you from your home.
Types of domestic abuse
Domestic abuse can be emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological, such as:
- kicking, hitting, punching or cutting
- rape (including in a relationship)
- controlling someone’s finances by withholding money or stopping someone earning
- controlling behaviour, like telling someone where they can go and what they can wear
- not letting someone leave the house
- reading emails, text messages or letters
- threatening to kill someone or harm them
- threatening to another family member or pet.
Signs of domestic abuse
It can be difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening and those carrying out the abuse can act very different when other people are around. Children and young people might also feel frightened and confused, keeping the abuse to themselves.
Signs that a child has witnessed domestic abuse can include:
- aggression or bullying
- anti-social behaviour, like vandalism
- anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts
- attention seeking
- bed-wetting, nightmares or insomnia
- constant or regular sickness, like colds, headaches and mouth ulcers
- drug or alcohol use
- eating disorders
- problems in school or trouble learning
Effects of domestic abuse
Living in a home where domestic abuse happens can have a serious impact on a child or young person’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as their behaviour. And this can last into adulthood.
What’s important is to make sure the abuse stops and that children have a safe and stable environment to grow up in.
If you are worried about the impact of domestic abuse on children, call 0808 800 5000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If a child reveals abuse
If a child talks to you about domestic abuse it’s important to:
- listen carefully to what they’re saying
- let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you
- tell them it’s not their fault
- say you’ll take them seriously
- don’t confront the alleged abuser
- explain what you’ll do next
- report what the child has told you as soon as possible.
0300 003 0396
You can talk to Relate about your relationship, including issues around domestic abuse.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
A 24 hour free helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.
- Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327
Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 999 5428
Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.