Safe + Sound Blog

Domestic Violence from a Child’s Perspective


By Lauren Lia, MSW, LCSW
Director of Clinical Services

As an adult and a social work professional, I understand intellectually that the coronavirus pandemic will not last forever and will represent a short period in our lives. For survivors of domestic abuse – especially children in households where domestic violence is taking place – the experience may feel like it will never end. The trauma and hopelessness of these children is amplified during COVID-19 as described in the following statements of our young clients.

“Staying home was never easy for me. Now, it’s been even harder. I never know whether it will be a safe or a scary day, but there are even more scary days now.

School was my safe place. I miss the smile my teacher would greet me with every morning. I miss running around with my friends at recess. I miss knowing there wouldn’t be yelling or fighting at least during the school day. Now, I won’t go back until September.

There’s even more fighting than before.

I wonder if it’s my fault because my parents have to teach me. I can’t help that it’s so much harder to concentrate with online learning. I’m scared to get yelled at if I ask for help when I don’t understand. I’m trying really hard – I wish I wasn’t called dumb.

I try to hide in my room away from the fighting. Even when I go away, I can still hear their mean words and things that sound like hurting. It keeps me up and gives me bad dreams.

I was told not to talk about the fighting before, but now they say if I tell our family will be split up and could get sick. I always promise not to tell. Can I still call 911 if someone gets hurt or is that closed too? I’m really confused.

The news is always on. I keep hearing things about the virus. I wish my parents would turn it off – I think it makes them feel bad too. It makes the worry thoughts in my head much louder and my heart starts beating really fast.

Will it be like this forever?“

The impact of the trauma these young survivors are experiencing now can also last a lifetime, if they do not receive support and services to heal. Survivors need our help more than ever. Safe+Sound Somerset remains fully operational for survivors of domestic violence and their families during this time. Safe+Sound Somerset now offers child and adolescent counseling via tele-counseling when safe and appropriate to help them manage the trauma of domestic abuse and the current COVID-19 crisis.

 


See Also: Collective Trauma of COVID-19


 

Call or text our 24/7 hotline to talk with an advocate about safety planning for your family, how to talk to your children about what they are experiencing, and information on our services. Information is also available at www.safe-sound.org.