Families Change Parent Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Dealing With Abuse in the Home

Many parents have trouble talking openly about abuse happening in their home, even with their children. Most children experiencing abuse are also don’t want to talk about it.

Suspected abuse or violence in a home should never be ignored. Parents and concerned adults can direct children to the home pages of the Kids Guide and Teen Guide. Go through the guide with your children, and talk in a matter-of-fact way about all topics, including People Getting Hurt and Abuse at Home. Then let your children go through the guide privately.

These are some of the topics covered in the children's website:

  • ways to identify abuse
  • reassuring children that they are not to blame and are not alone
  • encouraging children to get help from a trusted adult
  • breaking the cycle of abuse
  • calling the Kids Help Phone line: 1-800-668-6868
  • calling 9-1-1 if there is immediate danger

If an abused child reaches out to you for support, the first step is to listen. The next step is to get professional help for the child.

It’s important for adults and children who have been victims of abuse to get help from a professional. Talk to a doctor, counselor, or agency in your community that specializes in victims of abuse.

Abusive relationships make family changes more complicated. Parents in abusive relationships need to pay special attention to this part of the guide. If are a victim of abuse, your first priority is to protect yourself and your child. If there is risk or danger, you need to stay safe, and get help.