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He only hits me when the children are in bed – they know nothing about it


When domestic violence occurs at home, children are very much aware of what is happening and can be affected by this.

Children are aware that there is tension at home and can often overhear arguments or be present in a room during arguments or a violent incident against their mother.

Children don’t have to be present in the same room to be aware that there are difficulties between their parents. Babies and young children can also pick up on a mother’s stress or tension caused by domestic abuse and this can have an impact on them.

Children can often be unsure of what is happening and can feel frightened or may also feel that arguments occur between their parents because of them or they may blame themselves for the domestic violence.

They may also experience a range of emotions as a result of the impact of domestic violence at home, including anger and other behavioural issues.

This may further lead to difficulties with development, self-confidence, issues at school, social difficulties with other children or often can have a direct impact on physical health and their well-being in general.

Children may also grow up believing that domestic violence is acceptable and part of home.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or is affected by any of the issues mentioned above phone COPE Galway Domestic Abuse Service at 091 565 985 (24 hours)