Domestic Violence is violent or aggressive behaviour within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.
However, it isn’t always physical abuse. Domestic abuse can also mean emotional abuse including coercive control (Domestic Violence Act 2018).
Coercive control occurs when one partner takes control over the others money, whereabouts or what type of clothing they wear.
Regardless of what level of violence is in the home, it is never acceptable.
How can I support my child if there is domestic violence in our home?
- Shelter your child from harm at all times. If your child is aware of the abuse in the family home, talk to them.
- Advise them that it is not okay and that they need to keep themselves safe as possible from harm during fights or incidents that occur in the family home.
- Make a safety plan with your child to ensure they can keep safe from harm of the perpetrator.
- Provide your child with Childline’s freephone number 1800 66 66 66, so that they can speak to a trusted adult if they need to. Childline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
A safety plan is a plan for a child or young person to keep themselves safe in the event of an incident of Domestic Violence.
It has ideas for the child keeping themselves safe – going to another room, not getting involved in the argument or holding their teddy bear really tight, to help them feel safe.
It might be important if the child had a safe adult they could contact, if it were safe to do so, and speak to them. It is pivotal that children are kept safe from harm, all whilst knowing that this type of violence is never okay. You can contact Women’s Aid on 1800 341 900 or if you feel that you might be in immediate danger, it’s imperative to contact the Gardai.