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Signs and symptoms that a child or young person may have witnessed domestic abuse

Understandably, the signs that a child or young person may have witnessed domestic abuse are age specific. The impact and trauma of witnessing domestic abuse differs through each developmental stage. Professionals can access a wealth of information on the NSPCC website. However, some key signs and symptoms for older children may include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nightmares, insomnia and flashbacks
  • Physical symptoms such as stomach aches
  • Anger and temper problems – this may include incidents of Child to Parent Domestic Abuse
  • Low self-worth and insecurity
  • Problems at school and truancy
  • Missing from home
  • Substance or alcohol misuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm

If you have concerns about a child, it is essential to escalate information swiftly and in line with local operating protocols. Guidance on and referral documents for reporting concerns can be accessed via the Local Safeguarding Children Board Website.

For more information and resources see: