How does abuse affect children?

In children, the effect of abuse may present itself in various feelings and behaviours:

  • sadness/lonely/withdrawn - so many different feelings going on inside your head

  • angry/fighting/bullying - may feel it's ok to do what they are seeing at home

  • scared - fear of the perpetrator/being told they'll be removed from mum

  • ashamed/confused/feel to blame - feeling like they've made it happen

  • nightmares/lack of concentration - bad dreams due to the violence causing tiredness at school

  • feeling protective towards mum/having to become a parent to a sibling

  • stomach aches - the constant treading on eggshells/knotted feeling

  • moving schools

  • moving to refuge

  • keeping secrets about the abuse to family, friends and adult

 Women’s Aid have a specific website available for children and young people: which can help with advice, stories and information around what a healthy relationship is.

Wish Project

As part of our new contract offer with effect from 1st July 2019, we are able to offer specific projects for children and young people via a social care referral. A leaflet can be downloaded here.

Have any of these things happened in your family?

• Bad arguments or fights

• Things in your house have been broken

• Your mum/dad/carer have been: pushed, hit, sworn at, called nasty names or threatened

• You or your brothers and sisters have felt scared or been hurt

How does it make you feel?

• Angry

• Sad or frightened

• Worried

• Confused

• Can’t get to sleep at night

• Get tummy aches, ear aches or headaches

• Worried about mum/dad/carer

The Wish Project provides:

• Advice and support including advocacy work

• Group work for children and young people

• Group work for children and parents

• Individual support plans

• One to one counselling

• Family counselling

• Links to other support services

If you would like to talk to someone about this, please telephone Safe to Talk 0800 1114998.

Alternatively telephone the Wish team at Relate Coventry and Warwickshire on 024 7622 5863 or email

Agency referrals can be sent to