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  • sadness/lonely/withdrawn - so many different feelings going on inside your head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