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Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children. Family violence creates a home environment where children live in constant fear. Children who witness family violence are affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused. They are often unable to establish nurturing bonds with either parent. Children are at greater risk for abuse and neglect if they live in a violent home. Statistics show that over 8 million children witness violence in their home each year.

Those who see and hear violence in the home suffer physically and emotionally. Domestic violence has a devastating effect on children of all ages. There are certain behaviors that appear when children are affected by domestic violence.

Effects of domestic violence on infants:

  • Continual fussing and crying
  • Sleep disturbances (lack of restful sleep or sleeping so much that they have to be awakened to eat)
  • Being easily irritated
  • Being easily startled
  • Lethargy, or lack of energy
  • Inability to be comforted

Effects of domestic violence on toddlers and pre-schoolers:

  • Inability to be comforted
  • Difficulty going to bed
  • Frequent nightmares
  • General sadness
  • General meanness toward other children and adults
  • Slow motor responses and movements
  • Not knowing how or when to play
  • Age-inappropriate inability to separate from parents
  • Speech difficulties
  • Cursing

Effects of domestic violence on elementary age children:

  • All of the symptoms in toddlers
  • General ‘acting out’ behavior
  • Disobedience
  • Cruelty to smaller children or animals
  • Being fearful of adults or extreme shyness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Consistent inability to complete tasks and/or homework
  • A drop in grades
  • Inability to sit still or follow directions in class
  • Not wanting to go to school, being afraid to leave home
  • Bullying other children
  • Regressive behavior, e.g., sucking thumb, bed-wetting
  • Nightmares
  • Irrational fears
  • Irritability
  • Withdrawal
  • Refusal to talk about things that have happened

Effects of domestic violence on adolescents:

  • Self-destructive behavior, e.g., using drugs or alcohol, self-mutilation.
  • Violent, aggressive behavior
  • Frequent fighting
  • Cruelty to peers of the opposite gender, smaller children, and animals
  • Destroying property
  • Truancy
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Running away
  • Nightmares
  • Extreme nervousness
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders (inability to sleep or sleeping too much)
  • Eating disorders
  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Frequent physical complaints (stomach aches, headaches, etc.)
  • Lack of involvement with family, school, peers or community
  • Avoiding talking about things that have happened
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Risk taking behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts
Advocates work directly with victims of domestic violence to address all areas of concern. Call 303.772.0432
Your donations make it possible for Safe Shelter to provide protection, intervention and support to individuals affected by domestic abuse.
Act as an advocate against domestic violence: provide support for victims in addition to educating the community.
Safe Shelter provides safety, support and resources to individuals affected by domestic abuse. We promote empowerment through direct services and community education, advocating for the right of every individual to live a life free of intimidation, exploitation and abuse.

Our vision is provide the tools to empower our community to break the cycle of domestic violence. To stay focused on this vision, we are guided by values that define us. Those values include:

  • Treat All with Dignity & Respect.
  • Accomplish Results through Competence and Creativity.
  • Offer Support and Opportunity.
  • Manage Activities with Proper Regard to the Rights of Others.
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