Protecting Children When a Relationship Turns Violent

Domestic violence is a serious and devastating situation for everyone involved. When our relationships turn violent, the impact on our children is not only immediate but everlasting. At KL Family Law, we understand why it can be hard and even dangerous to exit a relationship that turns into violence, especially when children are involved. Thankfully, there are resources and actions you can take to protect your children and mitigate the risk to yourself and your children.

When our children are exposed to violence in the home, they can live in fear and develop trust issues, trauma disorders, relationship issues, and could even turn to violence themselves. We want to get in front of these issues and make sure your children are able to grow as a child should and contribute to society without living in fear.

Talk to your children

We are the beacon for our children as they develop and learn how to be a person in our society. The conversations we expose our children to are a great learning tool, and it’s important to talk to children about what to do and how to respond when exposed to violence.

It’s hard to admit to our children that any relationship could turn violent, including our own, but we should discuss this when our children are old enough to understand. Some important considerations are:

  • Creating a safe space in the home everyone agrees not to trespass within
  • Helping your children understand how to talk to adults when they’re threatened or exposed to violence (this could include creating code words, phrases, or signals for help)
  • Informing them on how and when to call 911 and contact other emergency services
  • Having a plan if you need a friend, family member, or neighbor to take in your child when a dangerous situation occurs in the home

We can’t expect our children to just know how to act when these situations arise. Instead, we should guide them to take the right steps when necessary. It’s better to have an emergency plan rather than assume you’ll never need one.

Listen to your children

This goes hand-in-hand with talking to our children. You should be an open ear and a shoulder when your children need it. If they indicate they’re being abused, we should believe them and make sure they feel comforted while we, as adults, figure out how to approach the situation.

Make sure your children know the situation isn’t their fault and that they’re doing the right thing in coming out with their story. Let them know that you’re going to take care of them and make sure they aren’t put in harm’s way again.

Use important resources

This should go without saying but if you or your children are being exposed to danger, you should contact the police. It can be tempting to attempt to calm the situation on your own or to try to compartmentalize what’s happening out of fear of what life may look like without your partner. We must resist this temptation in favor of protecting ourselves and our children.

Other resources that may be useful to have handy for yourself and your children are:

Get a divorce

We understand wanting to stay together for the kids or trying to see it through a tough time in your relationship, but you do a service to your children when you get out of a violent situation. At KL Family Law, we help families move forward with compassion and integrity. Contact us today and let us help you get to a safe place in life.

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KL Family Law

At KL Family Law, we understand that your primary concern is the well-being of your children. We strive to offer tailored solutions for your family law needs and help you move forward through this difficult transition.

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