How Children feel when abuse is occurring between parents

Powerless

Powerless

because they can’t stop the abuse

Guilty

Guilty

believing that they somehow caused the abuse

Angry

Angry

blaming mom that somehow it was her fault

Angry

Angry

at Dad for hurting Mom

Helpless

Helpless

because they feel a need to solve the problem but only end up getting hurt when they try to help

Confused

Confused

because parents may try to get children to choose sides

Afraid

Afraid

for themselves and other family members

Isolated/
Insecure

Isolated/
Insecure

often making up excuses so they don’t have to go home

Dishonest/
Embarrassed

Dishonest/
Embarrassed

because they make up excuses to family and friends for mom’s bruises

Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

by the situation, often leading to poor school performance and avoiding friends

Understanding why mom stays

  • Even though there are violent and bad times in the relationship, there are also loving and good times.
  • She probably believes that she must stay married until “death do they part”.
  • She probably believes that the violence will stop if she does all the things a good wife should do
  • She is isolated from family and friends by her husband who has told her she doesn’t need anyone but him, and because she feels embarrassed about bruises and lacerations
  • She is afraid
  • She fears that if she leaves -the abuser will find her and hurt her even more
    • she won’t be able to support herself or her children
    • the husband may get custody of the children because he has more money and can afford a better attorney.