"I felt like no one was hearing me” - Mia 19

Mia's Domestic Violence Story
Play Video about Mia's Domestic Violence Story

The trauma Mia lived with every day as a result of domestic violence, affected her education, relationships and mental health so much that she almost gave up hope.

Mia

1 in 4 children experience domestic violence in Australia*

Sadly, Mia is just one of thousands of hidden victims being impacted emotionally, physically and mentally and the effects can last a lifetime.

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The impact of domestic violence on children can last a lifetime

Children have the right to grow up without violence. Yet, in Australia, high rates of domestic violence expose thousands of children daily. Most children in Barnardos care have experienced violence at home. Our research report shows this exposure has lasting, devastating effects on children with up to 88% of child victims of DFV having suffered life-long psychological distress as a result of their experiences. 

At a 36% greater risk of depression, a 49% greater risk of experiencing anxiety, and an almost 60% greater risk of self-harming behaviours.

Substance Abuse

Twice as likely to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

Mental Health

Almost five times more likely to receive a mental health service by the time they reached 18 years of age (79% versus 16%).

Homeless

At greatest risk of homelessness due to Domestic and Family Violence.

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How Barnardos helps

Barnardos helps children and young people impacted by domestic violence to recover and thrive. We assist women and children escaping domestic violence with safe housing, counseling, education and practical support. We ensure children’s education that may have been disrupted by violence at home is supported through before and after school programs. Our youth services give young people a safe place to be themselves, share their story and build their trust of others and belief in themselves again.

Approved

Safety planning

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Transitional accommodation

Home visiting

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Parenting support

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Youth programs

DV education and counseling

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DV Support groups

DV Phone support

Approved

Safety planning

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Transitional accommodation

Home visiting

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Parenting support

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Youth programs

DV education and counseling

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DV Support groups

DV Phone support

Our programs

We assist women and children escaping domestic violence with safe housing, counseling, education and practical support.

Learn more

Advocacy

We want to work with the NSW government to support families sooner rather than later.

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Our impact

Learn more about what Barnardos is doing

LEARN MORE

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Because every child needs a champion

Together, with your help, we can support children and young people to heal from the damaging effects of domestic violence, so they, like Mia, can find the hope and strength they need to recover and thrive.

Share our
government asks

Push politicians to do more to help children experiencing domestic violence by sharing our government asks. Tag your local MP for added impact.

Share our asks

Donate

By donating to Barnardos you can help children and young people like Mia impacted by domestic violence rebuild their lives.

Donate now

Learn more

For more information about the real yet often hidden effects of domestic violence on children, download our latest research report.

Download report

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Myths and facts about Domestic and Family Violence

Click on the Myth’s card below to learn the facts.

Myth

Domestic violence is physical violence

Fact

Domestic violence is not always physical. Domestic and family violence can involve any behaviours that makes you feel scared, attempt to control you, involve threats to you and/or your children, and deny you choice or freedom.

Myth

Children who ‘witness’ DFV in their home are not harmed

Fact

Children are not ‘witnesses’ of DFV, they are victims and they can be seriously harmed by DFV even if they are not physically abused.

Myth

Children can overcome any negative effects they may experience from DFV

Fact

DFV can have major impacts on children, some of which continue into adulthood. Many children who have experienced DFV develop lifelong psychological, physical and emotional impacts.

Myth

Anyone can leave a domestic violence situation

Fact

It is not always safe to leave a domestic violence situation at any moment. There is an increased risk of harm or death when leaving so the timing is usually carefully planned. It is not ok to judge a person for staying in their DV situation. Ultimately, of course it is best to escape the situation, but this can take time and careful planning, especially when there are children involved.

*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).