Children Exposed to Conjugal Violence

Even if they are not always the direct victims of conjugal violence, children are often witnesses to it. Continued exposure to this violence has many impacts on their physical and/or psychological well-being.

Psychological Harm

Conjugal violence weakens the psychological balance of children exposed to it. Fear, distress, helplessness, insecurity, shame, guilt, confusion—children who witness violence often exhibit symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Faced with this stressful situation, children adapt their behaviour. They may have tantrums, avoid the family environment or seek refuge in recreational activities. Some attitudes may be positive, while others prove to be more harmful in the short and long term. Children may, for example, develop emotional problems or have trouble building self-confidence and self-esteem.

Health Problems

Prolonged exposure to the climate of fear and tension generated by the cycle of conjugal violence can lead to many health problems in children: delayed growth, weight loss or gain, sleep problems, nightmares, cognitive problems, learning difficulties, etc.

Altered Social Relations

Conjugal violence impacts children’s social relations. It changes their behaviour, often resulting in them being isolated or marginalized. In some cases, teens may also develop violent attitudes.

Physical Injuries

In a conjugal violence context, children themselves are sometimes direct victims of violence. It can take different forms (psychological, physical, sexual, etc.) and result in serious trauma.

If you fear for your safety, don’t hesitate to call the police at 911 or SOS violence conjugale at 514-873-9010 or 1 800-363-9010.
These services are always available.