Domestic abuse: The effects on children
Children living where someone is being abused are affected by seeing or hearing the abuse.
They are often described as the 'forgotten victims' of domestic abuse.
Children can give a detailed description of the abuse. They can do this even when the adults involved believe the children are unaware.
Domestic abuse can continue post-separation. Perpetrators may use child contact as a mechanism to control their ex-partner.
The harm on children is recognised in the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018. This happens when a perpetrator:
- includes the child at or involves them in carrying out the abuse
- is abusive whilst the child is there
- negatively affects the child by their actions.
If this is the case, the courts may impose harsher penalties.
When children are present during domestic abuse incidents the police may also have concern for their welfare.
This information will be recorded and can be shared with our partner agencies.
What can I do if this is happening to someone I know? page for information to assist someone you know who is affected by domestic abuse.
Partners and other organisations page provides information of people who can help.