"When my parents hurt each other, I get hurt too."

Don’t let domestic violence destroy
kids’ lives

Barnardos Australia has always been a charity that speaks up about child safety, but this year
we are taking it a step further and launching our campaign “Don’t let domestic violence destroy kids’ lives.” This campaign calls for the community to recognise the serious impact that
domestic violence has on children. Let’s put the child’s voice and experience front and centre
for public awareness.

All children should have the right to grow up in a safe home, free from danger and harm.
But sadly in Australia, 1 in 4 children experience domestic and family violence (DFV)*.

Take action today by making a donation, becoming informed by reading our report or join with us in raising awareness via socials.

Children aren’t just witnesses, they are victims. They aren’t merely exposed to domestic violence, they experience it and are damaged by it. Children who witness domestic violence at home are being harmed in ways we can and cannot see. While some may not be physically hurt, simply seeing the violence at home is having a damaging effect on their lives which is evidenced in our recent research report. Children are being impacted emotionally, physically and psychologically and the effects of this can last a life-time.

– Survey respondents, from our report ‘Truth is, the abuse never stopped


But you can drive meaningful change

By taking action through the steps below you are acknowledging the serious impact that domestic violence has on children and helping drive change so that domestic violence doesn’t destroy lives.

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Help us raise awareness of the impact of domestic violence on children by sharing our campaign.

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Your donations will go directly towards helping
Australian children who have experienced domestic violence and support them to rebuild their lives.



Domestic violence is harming children in ways we can’t see

Through the critical work that we do with children and young people, we see that kids who have experienced domestic violence often have low self-esteem, fear for their own safety, and have feelings of sadness and isolation – all of which negatively affect their education, health and behaviour, then flowing through to their adult.

Often children impacted by domestic violence don’t know where to find help and if they did, the result was even worse for them. Seeing or hearing the violence at home can have a significant impact, and lasting effect.

Tegan talks about the effect that domestic violence had on her children
Play Video about Tegan talks about the effect that domestic violence had on her children

Tegan talks about the effect that domestic violence had on her children

“When I left the relationship, everyone put me in to see a psychologist. Everyone made referrals for me to be looked after. Now, in those sessions, I tried to source help for my children. Now let’s fast forward five years. My children have come out with things that I’ve had to seek out help for because they have experienced trauma, and they haven’t processed the trauma.”

Barnardos conducted a national survey into the impact of domestic and family violence on children. It found children are silent victims with nowhere to turn.

“I experience persistent fears that whilst I was away from my mother, she should be killed by my stepfather. I couldn’t sleep when my stepfather was home late because I knew he was out drinking, and there would be a fight when he got home. As soon as I heard raised voices, I went out to protect my mother. It started when I was in preschool.” – Survey response read by actor.

“We need more in place to help these kids because, at the end of the day, they’re our future.”


Safe children, strong families

Last year, we helped more than 14,000 Australian children, young people, and families through a range of intensive support programs that not only deal with the immediate impact of domestic violence, but also focus on long-term solutions such as trauma therapy, learning about safe and healthy relationships and providing access to safe and long-term housing.

This kind of support is life-changing for a child or young person who has had to endure living in a state of constant fear and anxiety. No child should have to live through this!
Join with us today.

Learn more around what Barnardos is doing to help recognise children as vicitms in their own right and advocate for change.



*Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse 2011 – The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children: A Literature Review

If you experience any distress while reading the content on this page and would like to speak to a professional, please contact your health practitioner (such as your GP or a professional counsellor) or call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).