Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence

Children who experience domestic violence in their families can greatly benefit from counseling and play therapy, even when they do not physically witness the violence. Witnessing domestic violence can affect children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development– ultimately affecting their adult functioning. Research shows that child witnesses of domestic violence suffer as many negative effects as those children who are physically abused themselves.

At HCWC, we serve children who have witnessed or lived in a home in which domestic violence has occurred. The approach when working with children is called Play Therapy; this is a type of therapy specific to children in which the child is able to communicate through their natural language of play. As domestic violence is a problem that affects the entire family, we require that for a child to receive services, his or her parent or guardian must receive services as well. In this way, the child and primary caregiver can experience the benefits of counseling.

If you know someone who has experienced domestic violence and/or has children who have witnessed domestic violence, please call HCWC at (512) 396-3404 or call our Helpline at (512) 396-HELP (4357).