Domestic abuse often affects those outside of the immediate relationship, especially when there are children involved. Whether you’re a family friend or someone who simply knows the kids, you may want to help protect them in some way. If intervening in the situation isn’t safe, there are some ways to provide help. The experts at White Spruce Counseling share some of their best advice.
Ways to Protect Children in Domestic Abuse Situations
1. Remind Them It’s Not Their Fault
All too often, children can feel like the fighting and abuse is related to them. Maybe a parent is blaming the child or they’re making an association with it. Regardless, remind them that it’s not their fault, and help them remember during those difficult situations.
2. Connect Them to a Professional Resource
Above all, it’s important to help those involved get the help they need. Even if the violence isn’t directly against the kid, the emotional effects will take a toll at some point. Connect them with a school counselor, a professional therapist, or find someone who can help in a professional way as soon as possible.
3. Be a Positive Role Model in Their Life
When children are absorbing domestic abuse, they may not understand what a safe and healthy relationship looks like. Be a positive role model for them by sharing positive affirmations, reminding them that the situation isn’t okay, and even sharing examples of what a healthy relationship looks like.
4. Provide a Safe Space
Keeping them safe is imperative. Ask if there’s somewhere in the home they can go to when domestic abuse is occurring, like their bedroom or bathroom. If not, try to find a place outside of the home, like a neighbor’s house or a church. If possible, you could offer for them to call you when it happens.
If you know children who are part of a household where domestic abuse is taking place, it’s important to create a healthy environment for them and connect them with the resources or domestic violence counseling they need to be safe. White Spruce Counseling offers a variety of counseling services and support to guide families through domestic abuse. To learn more, visit the website or call (585) 424-2436 to set up an appointment.