Domestic violence: when the victims are children

The World Health Organization, encompasses gender violence or domestic violence as a form of child abuse, in that the experience of said violence, the development in a violent climate supposes an emotional and psychic damage that can be considered mistreatment. In our country, the law on the protection of children includes domestic violence as a situation to which we must intervene to protect children. Therefore, it is fundamental to support children who are victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a cruel reality that has serious consequences. Violence, also known as gender-based violence, is a serious disease in current societies, which includes many victims, women and children are the main ones, but so is society as a whole.


In addition, domestic violence can and does affect children, even if they do not receive blows or insults directly on their person, they are indirectly receiving blows inside them, blows that affect their development and their future. The so-called gender violence, because gender is an artificial creation, only words have gender, or domestic violence is a type of violence against families, and also against children.

Domestic violence and maltreatment in the couple

Domestic violence refers to maltreatment as the most common form of violence against women, as well as other forms of violence. Domestic violence is a silent crime, hidden behind a love that is not such, that hides behind a love that is nothing more than a need to reaffirm, to raise self-esteem. The love that supposes that one of the two is stooped before the other, that one of the two belongs to the other as an object. The love that supposes to stop being oneself and enter a cycle of violence, is not love and has serious consequences.


The masked beginning of domestic violence

Domestic violence or gender violence begins in a subtle, almost imperceptible way, with small gestures or words of which one doubts whether they are considered as violence or not. In this way the abuser begins to create a network with which little by little traps the victim leaving her without self-esteem, without resources, isolating her, making her feel guilty, generating a false dependence and generating panic. All this is justified with the love that the abuser says he feels. All these characteristics together condemn the victim not only to abuse, but also to silence.

Children and domestic violence

Domestic or gender-based violence is further aggravated, in terms of the existence of other silent victims, who observe and suffer abuse while suffering emotional damage. These victims are children witnessing domestic violence.


Childhood is the time of development, growth and maturity, it is the stage where the bases of important things such as personality, self-esteem, values, etc. are established. An act of violence has negative repercussions at any stage of life, but these consequences are intensified in childhood, since we are dealing with people in development, who do not have emotional management strategies or reasoning to deal with the situation. Domestic violence can mark them forever.

Consequences of domestic violence in boys and girls

Living in a violent family environment, where fear and anger coexist and dance following the silent beat of blows, has important repercussions on the development of children.

- The models they observe are not the most appropriate.
- They may feel guilty, which will create a great burden that can hardly be fought.
- They develop an insecure and unstable attachment pattern that will affect their future relationships.
- They learn that the normal thing in a relationship is what they are seeing at home.
- They can not identify what they feel, nor can they channel it.
- They begin to develop beliefs that allow them to contribute a sense to what they live. These beliefs are often dysfunctional and unrealistic.
- Contradictory emotions appear, from love, hatred, fear, affection, guilt that are difficult to manage.

How to act with children victims of domestic violence?

1. Talk to them and explain them, without lying, but gently and avoiding certain nuances the situation. Help them to understand it, it is important that they give a sense to what happened and do not elaborate irrational beliefs.
2. Work with them their emotions, It is very important that they can identify and express them in an appropriate way.
3. Offer them nonviolent family models, for this, he resorts to family and friends, explain that this is normal and healthy.
Four. Inquire and analyze those meanings and behaviors that they may be internalizing, it is very important to avoid an internalization of the violence since they will tend to imitate it.
5. Consultation with a professional.

Celia Rodríguez Ruiz. Clinical health psychologist. Specialist in pedagogy and child and youth psychology. Director of Educa and Learn. Author of the collection Stimulate Reading and Writing Processes.

Video: Dr. Phil Explains the Effects of Domestic Violence on Children


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