Online support group for parents of sexually abused children
This procedure refers to the victim/survivor as female and the abuser as male as this reflects the majority of cases where there are child protection concerns.
However, agencies should apply the guidance to all situations of domestic violence.
Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by women against men, within same sex relationships, and between any other family members.
Children and young people can be subjected to domestic abuses perpetrated in order to force them into marriage or to 'punish' him/her for 'bringing dishonour on the family'.
Most domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women, and this procedure provides guidance on safeguarding the children who, through being in households / relationships, are aware of or targeted as part of the violence.
The psychological impact can include: Domestic violence contributes directly to the breakdown of mental health, and mothers experiencing domestic violence are very likely to suffer from depression and other mental health difficulties leading to self-harm, attempted suicide and/or substance misuse.
Professionals are often very optimistic about men's parenting skills (Hester and Radford ), whilst scrutinising the mother's parenting in much greater detail.
However, domestic violence may diminish a mother's capacity to protect her child/ren and mothers can become so preoccupied with their own survival within the relationship that they are unaware of the effect on their child/ren.
Mothers subjected to domestic violence have described a number of physical effects, including frequent accommodation moves, economic limitations, isolation from social networks and, in some cases, being physically prevented from fulfilling their parenting role by the abuser.
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They tend to have low self-esteem and experience increased levels of anxiety, depression, anger and fear, aggressive and violent behaviours, including bullying, lack of conflict resolution skills, lack of empathy for others and poor peer relationships, poor school performance, anti-social behaviour, pregnancy, alcohol and substance misuse, self blame, hopelessness, shame and apathy, post traumatic stress disorder - symptoms such as hyper-vigilance, nightmares and intrusive thoughts - images of violence, insomnia, enuresis and over protectiveness of their mother and/or siblings.