Safety Alert

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United Way of Knox County


Community Foundation of Mount Vernon

Domestic Violence affects everyone in the home, especially children who witness violence.

The Facts

  • Slightly more than half of female victims of intimate partner violence live in households with children under the age of 12
  • Each year about 324,000 pregnant women in the U.S. are battered by the men in their lives
  • In addition to actually observing violent acts, children can be harmed by:
    • Witnessing the act of forcible rape of an adult parent
    • Witnessing the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of a sibling
    • Overhearing some form of violent threat or abusive act
    • Seeing the results of assaults (bruises, torn clothes broken furniture, etc.)
    • Being court-ordered to visit with the adult perpetrator without any or adequate emotions safeguards or supervised visitation
    • Being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused
    • Being emotionally neglected
    • Witnessing the abuse of  a pet
    • Suffering isolation
    • Engaging the child in abuse of the parent, other children or pets
    • Hearing constant threats
    • Being held hostage
    • Being subject to interrogation about the abused partner’s activities


Possible Effects of Witnessing Domestic Violence on Children

  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Shyness
  • Suicide attempts
  • Withdrawal
  • Trauma/stress reactions
  • Feelings of loss/anger/sadness/confusion
  • Self-blame
  • Physical problems
  • School problems
  • Social incompetence
  • Low empathy
  • Poor problem-solving, non-violent resolution, and conflict resolution skills
  • Acceptance/legitimization
  • Poor cognition
  • Externalizing behavioral problems
  • Aggression
  • Alcohol and drug use

Safe/Non Abusive Family Systems Provide Infants, Children, and Teens With:

  • Physical and emotional safety
  • Spontaneous emotion
  • Order/consistency
  • Predictability
  • Support for personal rights and freedoms
  • Emotional nurturance
  • Values, validation of feelings, thoughts, ideas and individuality
  • Physical needs (shelter, nutrition, clothing, medical attention)
  • Encouragement to realize their potential
  • Positive role models
  • Persistent state of calm and feelings of safety

Local Family Resources


 Discipline Resources


Other Family Resources

Educational Resources

Preventing Child Sexual Assault

Resources for teens


For more information, please email at or call (740)-397- HELP (4357).

Some resources adapted from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s “Working with Kids Who Witness DV.”


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