The Effects Of Domestic Violence On Survivors, Partners, And Children

Updated March 12, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include sexual assault & violence, which could potentially be triggering.

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If you look up relationship and marriage issues, you are likely to come across a host of information regarding how to handle finances, how to raise children, and how to handle jealousy. These can all be useful tools for the regular couple to help deal with some of their relationship's more typical aspects. However, not all couples are dealing with these normal circumstances and may be dealing with much harder situations that aren't always discussed or even considered when it comes to the health of a relationship and those involved.

We need to talk about domestic violence in relationships and the widespread effects on every member of the family involved in or who has witnessed the abuse.

If you have ever experienced domestic violence or you have ever been a child in a household with domestic violence, it could be affecting you more than you know or already anticipating. That's because domestic violence has long-lasting effects that could crop up when you least expect them or even long after you thought you've already dealt with them. Understanding the effects of domestic violence on everyone is a crucial part of the healing process and will allow you to feel better about yourself and your future. If you have dealt with domestic violence at any point during your life, the following information will provide you with a more comprehensive overview of the devastating effects that domestic violence can have on others.

The Effects Of Domestic Violence On Survivors

If you consider yourself an experiencer of domestic violence, then start by looking in the mirror. Take a look at your surroundings and think about your day-to-day life. Are you currently experiencing physical abuse regularly at this point in your life? If not, you are, fortunately, not experiencing domestic violence not anymore. You are a survivor. You have gone through what happened to you, have emerged victorious and alive, and you are ready to start your future off right. As a survivor, you are the one who is possibly most affected by what has happened because you were the one that the domestic violence was directed towards.

That violence or abuse may have been physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial, or any combination of these, and these most likely have created issues for you that you still feel today. You may have been in that situation for a short time or a long time. No matter how long you were affected, it is necessary to grieve and work through the abuse's effects.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety are all potential side effects and long-term mental health problems that can come about as a result of domestic violence. Someone who is a survivor may also have low self-esteem and may even question their sense of self. A feeling of hopelessness, apprehensiveness, inability to trust, and a lack of motivation can also occur. These may occur immediately during or after the abuse or could appear at some time in the future. 

Put, there are going to be affected, and not being okay is okay. In the meantime, seek counseling and work through these issues as best you can. Over time, you will be okay again, and you can confidently look at yourself as someone who previously had to do this but grew stronger from experience. If you were tough enough to deal with the abuse, you are certainly strong enough to overcome it!

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The Effects Of Domestic Violence On Partners

Though it may not be the first thing that you think of, domestic violence affects the perpetrator. The partner who engages in domestic violence will generally have several symptoms and effects that either stems from engaging in abusive behavior with their significant other or will stem from the past trauma that has caused them to engage in the behavior in the first place. These can make it difficult for the individual to get the help they realize they need, or they can be why the individual finally reaches out to do something about their behavior. Although the outcome may be different for different people, the effects are generally similar. So, what effects are there?

Some of the most common effects, which have actually been self-reported during a study, including feeling down, feeling bad about the way that they treated the partner, distractions at work or school (yes, domestic violence can occur between adolescents as well)s, loss of respect for themselves, concerns about the effects on their children, concerns about the partner leaving them, and even a feeling of going crazy or fear at their behavior.

Some reported work suffering, that they were concerned about hurting their children or that their children and friends or family were afraid of them or lost respect for them. Only a few missed days of work or school, had fights with friends, suffered injuries themselves, lost friends or relatives, or were worried about losing their jobs.

It should be noted that there are also individuals who engage in the behavior to dominate their partner and may not suffer from any side effects or suffer from a limited number of the effects listed above. These are certainly more concerning cases and ones in which those affected should seek to remove themselves from the relationship as soon as it is possible and safe to do so.

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The Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children

Children who experience domestic violence firsthand and are experiencing physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse may show the same or similar types of symptoms to adult survivors. They may also have difficulty with many of the normal developmental processes that smaller and even teenage children go through because they don't have a positive role model for relationships. This can carry over into their later years and continue to cause problems for them as they begin to reach adulthood, potentially translating into them becoming the perpetrator of these actions in the future or seeking out relationships that provide the same experience for them.

Children who witness domestic violence can suffer from anxiety, depression, fear, and have academic problems because of the difficulty of their home life. They may struggle to find healthy relationships later in life, and it is possible (though the numbers are lower than what many may believe) that they will become an abuser themselves. It is even more possible to find themselves in a relationship where they experience domestic violence because they have seen the situation modeled for them and don't understand what else they should be looking for in a partner.

In addition to the listed effects above, it is said that children can often endure the worst of the mental health effects as children who have been said to be witnesses of domestic abuse have levels of PTSD that can best be compared to soldiers in active duty. These kinds of findings prove that everyone involved in the process is affected by these events' outcomes.

Understanding Domestic Violence

It's important to note that not all domestic violence perpetrators want to be that way and in fact, most don't, but that does not mean that it's healthy for the partner to stay in a relationship with them while they attempt to change. There are many things that someone who engages in domestic violence will need to do themselves, and having a partner can make it even more difficult for both and even more dangerous for the partner. Everyone involved in the situation needs to get help to overcome what's happened to them.

Getting Help

Whether you are a survivor, a perpetrator, or a child of a domestic violence situation, you must get the professional mental help you need. Someone qualified to work with you will help you understand the possible far-reaching implications of what you've gone through and just how it can affect the way you live your life and form relationships now. It is most definitely possible for you to have a healthy and happy life again, but it's going to take help. It will take courage on your part to reach out for that help and the willingness to work through that therapy so that you can successfully heal and move on from those traumatic moments in your life.

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If you're looking for someone who will help you receive the therapy and recovery you need, you should check out Regain. ReGain is a way for you to find a professional without having to worry about physical proximity at all, as these counselors work solely on the internet. The entire service takes place online, so all you need is internet access, and you'll be able to connect with your therapist or psychiatrist quickly and easily. From there, all you have to do is set up appointments that work best with your schedule. You no longer need to worry about how you're going to make it to the office or even whether you like the therapist that's located closest to you. You have freedom and control over the process from start to finish. Don't let the consequences of domestic violence continue. Take control and seek the proper therapy you need today.

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