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What Domestic Violence Really Teaches Children

Domestic violence is a private matter that has been brought into the public eye much in part to the NFL and the poor decisions of some football players. Many of us have heard the story about Ray Rice's wife and about their troubled marriage. Much of the talk about domestic violence is usually spent discussing what the parents are experiencing and although this is important, I ask "what about the kids?" Many people do not realize how domestic violence impacts a child's physical, mental and emotional development.

By witnessing domestic violence a child can learn.....

-that hitting or yelling at others is an appropriate way of communicating

-hitting or yelling equals respect

-by hitting or yelling other people listen to you

-physical strength is more important than anything else

-to have difficulty trusting other adults and parents

-to fight peers at school and break things at home

-that a foundation for a relationship is fighting

-in all relationships someone must be submissive

-physical strength is emotional strength

-that all men or women are violent (depending on who is the abuser)

-the poor ability to cope with stress or anxiety

-the poor ability to resolve problems without fighting or arguing

-to have low self esteem related to self blame for the domestic violence

-to be afraid when other people are yelling around the

-to hide their problems in the face of fear

-to not trust mom and dad since they can barely trust themselves

-to be insecure with themselves and others

-and that all adults are violent people

Domestic violence is violence against a family unit, everyone is impacted. Children are very much affected by what they see and hear at home. A simple verbal argument among adults can start a downward spiral in their young minds. If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence relationship, I ask that you please find help, maybe not for yourself but definitely for your children.

For questions, comments or more information please contact Mrs. Stephanie, Licensed Mental Health Counselor at: or

Mrs. Stephanie specializes in providing counseling services, through support and guidance catered to each adolescent, family and young adult at a time. Mrs. Stephanie speaks "teenager," she is successful in being able to relate easily with teens and young adults. She helps clients feel happier, become more social, interact more with family members, improve academic and conduct performance at school, succeed at work, improve friendships and transition to and from college. Mrs. Stephanie facilitates counseling therapy sessions in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. She believes in educating clients about mental health symptoms, preventative services and working towards eventual session termination.

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