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How does domestic violence affect children and their mothers?

Anyone who has had to go through domestic violence deserves better. There's never an excuse for the pain and suffering violence can cause in a home. In fact, domestic violence can quickly become a cycle. Children may feel that if they behave, they'll be less likely to get hurt, but the offender may continue to hurt them or their other parent anyway.

It's a common coping mechanism to believe you can predict and prevent violence when you're in a domestic violence situation. The truth is that you shouldn't have to walk on eggshells or use special strategies to live comfortably and without fear. You may want to control the situation and protect your children, but any time violence is in the home, it can escalate.

Children often learn to dissociate when they grow up with violence, and that can lead to problems down the line. It can make it hard for children to focus, and it may mean they interact with others less. It can even result in future relationships being damaged, since the children may not know how to interact with others the right way or know what's normal in a respectful relationship.

You know that the situation you're in now isn't your fault or the fault of your child. You have a right to seek out a restraining order, so you can live without being in fear for your lives. There's no reason to live in a situation where you face emotional, psychological or other types of abuse. Your attorney can help you get the help you need as soon as possible.

Source: Joyful Heart Foundation, "Effects of Domestic Violence on Mothers and Children," Sherisa Dahlgren, accessed April 10, 2017

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