Children and young people can experience domestic abuse at several stages in their life.
Domestic abuse can become worse during pregnancy and physical violence can affect the unborn child in many different ways including miscarriage, still-birth and premature birth. Violence and psychological stress inflicted on the mother can also lead to physical and mental illness.
Children often develop anxiety, depression, aggression and even post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of living with domestic abuse
The psychological impact of living with domestic abuse is no smaller than the impact of being physically abused.
You can find information about the effects of domestic abuse on children on our Parenting page.
It is recognised that violence and abuse does not just occur within adult/co-habiting relationships. As a result, the definition of domestic abuse was changed in 2013 to include young people aged 16 and over.
For information and support for young people please see our 'For Young People' pages