Domestic Violence

How does it affect the victim?

It is important to be aware of the reactions and feelings associated with such an experience.

When this situation of violence takes place, it is usual: 

  • to find it difficult to believe and to accept that you are a victim of violence in your own home;
  • to feel embarrassed to tell others what is going on;
  • to feel guilty as we might think that, in some way, we are responsible for what is happening or that, if we had acted differently, nothing would have happened;
  • to feel afraid that the abuser finds out that we are seeking help from someone else or that we have told what is going on;
  • to not want to tell anyone what's happening as we do not want to split our family up or hurt the abuser;
  • to feel discouraged because we think that nobody is going to believe us or that, if we ask for help, nobody will be able to help us.

rapaz triste    Being a victim of violence at home can also have a negative effect on our self-esteem and in the way we see ourselves (for example, some children and young people feel they are worthless or that they have some negative characteristic that makes their parents or carers abuse them).

It can become difficult to relate to others: it is natural to distance ourselves from friends and classmates at school and to avoid doing activities that we used to enjoy (for example, going out with friends).

It is also usual for children and young people who are victims of domestic violence to display problems at school: their grades can decrease as well as their attention in the classroom; they can feel less interested and motivated to study. 

Physical symptoms associated with the violence can also emerge:

  • wounds and injuries (usual in cases of physical violence);
  • loss of appetite;
  • sleeping difficulties;
  • headaches, stomach aches, dizziness, feeling sick.



These reactions and symptoms are a natural response to an experience that can threaten our well-being and personal safety. However, if some time has passed and you realize that you are feeling the same, it is important to get some help.