- By the time children start school they are often very aware of the abusive relationship between the adults and may already have experienced police involvement or hospitalization of the abused parent.
It s common to see children struggling with school work because they are distracted, sleep deprived, lack proper nutrition, or may even have injuries from direct abuse. In some cases the child will be an overachiever to try to avoid causing conflict between the adults.
Often the oldest child acts as the parent to younger siblings and will take care of basic tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, because the abused parent is unable to function properly.
In some cases children will take out their aggression on animals. Often the child is copying behaviour of the adult who uses abuse. This is a very serious concern and must be addressed as it can lead to increased aggression toward people in the future.
By time the child is in school it is also clear that they may be more likely to be bullies or be bullied than other children.