Domestic abuse and its impact on family dynamics
Domestic Abuse is often referred to as the hidden crime because it occurs primarily within the home and behind closed doors.
It’s impact can be devastating and both adult and child survivors can be adversely affected in many different ways.
What we also know and recognise is that the abuse can also have an impact on the family as a whole. It can often be complex and complicated, damaging not only relationships between mother and child but in some case between siblings within the family also.
Perpetrators actions and behaviours can impact on parenting capacity and will often undermine the mother/child relationship, damaging the bonds between them.
A lack of parenting is often due to the intense needs of the perpetrator and the fear of reprisals if those needs are not met.
Parenting styles may vary depending on those needs, which can result in inconsistent parenting and a lack of appropriate boundaries and routines.
Quotes from survivors:
“ I know at times I was too strict on the children and I didn’t parent how I wanted to as I was fearful of reprisals. I just wanted to protect them “
“ Sometimes I didn’t have the energy to put boundaries in place or to be able to stick to a routine because I was just so so tired “
“ I feel so guilty trying to implement boundaries after what my child has been through”
As with all trauma it is important to reach out to those who can help and to remember there is no shame in doing so. With the right type of support relationships CAN be re built and families can recover and become stronger than they have ever been .