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Domestic violence affects everyone part 1

By admin
26 November 2013

Loraine’s son is six years old. She and her husband had a physical fight in front of their son. She is now concerned that he will grow up thinking that it is okay for men to abuse women.

How should Loraine and her husband deal with the situation?

People aren’t perfect and don’t always behave perfectly. Loraine and her husband were probably having problems and this fight was just a natural development. The problem must be dealt with soon to give a strong enough basis for the relationship to survive.

Loraine is right to be concerned about the effect on her child, because she and her husband are the first and most important role models in his life. It is not useful to give long explanations of what happened or why – it is too difficult for a six-year-old child to understand. A constructive approach would be for the parents to demonstrate that they have learnt from the bad experience by becoming closer and more caring towards each other. This can be shown through the use of positive and caring touching in front of the child. It is also important that the parents express clear and open apologies to each other in front of the child. They must keep their language simple and straightforward so the child will understand the words. The apologies should be offered slowly and with full eye contact with each other to have the right effect on the watching child.