The impact of domestic violence

Practitioners - The impact of domestic violence and abuse

Impact of domestic violence and abuse on women and children

The impact of physical, sexual and psychological violence can result in a range of negative and harmful effects on the health, well-being and outcomes in life of women and their children. 

Physical and sexual abuse can cause short term, long term and permanent injuries or conditions.  Psychological abuse can lead to a variety of problems such as low self esteem; disturbed patterns of eating and sleeping; lack of confidence; depression; extreme anxiety; alcohol and substance misuse; self harm and suicide.

The social and economic consequences of violence can include homelessness, loss or separation from family friends, isolation, loss of employment, debt and destitution.
For more information, download the Impact of abuse on women document from the Related Documents section on this page.
The impact of domestic violence and abuse on children and young people

Children are often the hidden victims in domestic violence and abuse. The needs of children and young people can be overlooked if we do not make specific efforts to identify them.

Many children and young people are at home, sometimes in the same room when the fighting is happening. In 90% of cases of domestic violence the children or young people are in the same or next room. (Hughes, 1992)

The correlation between domestic violence and abuse and safeguarding children is widely recognised and accepted.  Domestic violence is an indicator of child abuse and has featured significantly in child protection proceedings and serious case reviews.  Children are affected by domestic violence in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally.

All children and young people witnessing domestic violence are being emotionally abused. Understandably, children and young people who have or are experiencing domestic violence will feel many different emotions. Each child or young person will deal with their emotions differently.

If you are concerned about a child or young person, contact Leeds Children’s Social Work Service on 0113 222 4403.

For more information visit  a website developed by Women’s Aid to help children and young people to understand domestic violence and abuse or download the Impact  of abuse on children document from the Related Documents section on this page.