Effects Of Violence On Children

All children are affected by violence no matter their race, creed, or color. The signs may be different because of how kids:

  • Decode and interpret the experience
  • Have learned to cope and survive in stress
  • Use support people like teachers, grandparents, etc.

Emotional effects

  • Guilt – responsible for violence
  • Shame – doesn’t happen anywhere else
  • Fear – of expressing feelings (anger), of divorce or separation, of unknown, or injury, of hostile world
  • Confusion – conflicted loyalties (love/hate)
  • Anger – about violence, chaos
  • Depression/helplessness/ powerlessness/ – to change things (especially caretaker children)
  • Grief – over losses
  • Burdened – inappropriate roles as caretaker, parent, etc.

Behavioral effects

  • Act out vs withdraw
  • Overachiever vs underachiever
  • Refuses to go to school
  • Caretaking – filling adult roles
  • Aggressive or passive bullying or “doormats”
  • Rigid defenses – aloof, sarcastic, rigid, blaming, defensive
  • Seeking attention in behaviors
  • Bedwetting, nightmares

Physical effects

  • Somatic complaints (headaches, stomach aches, asthma, etc.)
  • Nervous, anxious – short attention span (seems like “hyperactivity)
  • Tired, lethargic (seems like “lazy”)
  • Sick often with colds, flu, etc.
  • Neglect personal hygiene
  • Regression in developmental tasks (regressive behaviors)
  • No reaction, at times, to physical pain

Social effects

  • Isolated – no friends or distant relationships
  • Relationships with friends may start intensely and end abruptly
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Poor conflict resolution skills
  • May be excessively socially involved (overcompensates by staying away from home)

Cognitive effects

  • Feel responsible for violence
  • Blame others for their behavior (to not act responsibly)
  • Feel that it’s okay to hit others you care about in order to:
  • – get what you want
  • – express anger
  • – feel powerful
  • Low self-concept (cannot succeed in changing violence)
  • Don’t ask for what they need
  • Don’t trust (promise to change)
  • Feel anger is bad – people get hurt
  • Being a boy means … being a girl means … being a man/woman/parent means …

Thank you for reading my Purple Vision blog post http://purplevision.org . I hope that you come back for more next time. Feel free to like, share, and leave comments.

#purplevision #empower #survive #honor #stopdomesticviolence


  1. John

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