Children

Children often have the following characteristics as a result of living in a violent and unpredictable environment. Many of these characteristics are similar to those of children who have been abused. In fact, many children who grow up in homes in which the mother is abused are abused themselves.

Feelings
•  Worthless and powerless
•  Guilt, feel responsible for the problem
•  Depressed
•  Lonely, shy and fearful
•  Suicidal or have homicidal thoughts toward their parents
•  Fear, disgust or rage toward either parent
•  The need to be “perfect” to keep everyone happy
•  Embarrassment and humiliation

Behaviors
•  Aggressive
•  Isolate themselves from other children
•  Short attention spans
•  Acting anxious and/or having nervous disorders
•  Bullying other children or acting abusive or violently toward others
•  High risk for alcohol and drug abuse
•  Have a record of poor school attendance and difficulties in learning
•  May say that they hate their fathers for beating their mothers OR side with their fathers in blaming their mothers
•  Accepting and expecting violence in their relationship
•  Using violence to express frustration, anger and stress
•  Nightmares

Physical Cues
•  Physical or sexual abuse
•  Emotionally or physically neglected
•  Injured, accidentally or intentionally, while intervening
•  Bed-wetting reversals, headaches, or stomachaches
•  Self-abusive
•  Frequent illnesses
•  Poor school attendance