- Although adults may think “the kids don’t know,” research shows that children see or hear many domestic violence assaults.
- Each year in Canada, an estimated 362,000 children witness or experience family violence.
- Domestic violence is more common in homes with young children than homes with older children.
- Children who witness this violence are at immediate risk of being physically injured. Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to be victims of physical abuse.
- According to the RCMP, a child who witnesses spousal violence is experiencing a form of child abuse, since research shows that “witnessing family violence is as harmful as experiencing it directly.”
- While not all children who witness violence suffer direct physical abuse, they frequently develop long-term behavioural and psychological problems.
- Exposure to violence can affect children’s brain development and ability to learn, and lead to a wide range of behavioural and emotional issues such as anxiety, aggression, bullying, phobias, and insomnia.
- Research shows that children who witness violence are more likely to grow up to become victims or abusers.
- Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes.