Witnessing domestic violence can be very traumatic for a child. Children that witness or are victims of abuse are more likely to have abusive relationships when they grow up. Generally, boys are more likely to be abusive to others and girls are more likely to submit to abuse. Children who witness domestic violence may experience emotional trauma. They may withdraw from friends and family, or experience thoughts of self-blame. Children often have nightmares or express their anger through aggression towards others or by breaking things. Witnessing domestic violence can be very confusing to children. They may develop feelings of mistrust toward others because of their insecurity. If you believe a child is in a home where domestic violence is present, you should inform the proper authorities. In some states, failure to protect a child is punishable by law. Consult a family safety program in your area for more information.
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