No matter the level or frequency of events, living around violence is likely to have an effect on a child’s psychological and physical wellbeing. Exposure to violence also poses significant threats to a child’s development, the consequences of which can be long-lasting.
What the law says
The Family Violence Act 2018 defines violence within whānau or ‘domestic relationships' as:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- psychological abuse, including intimidation, harassment, damage to property and threats of abuse
- psychological abuse against a child
There is the risk of children and young people getting caught up in the violent behaviour and harmed in that way. The Act is also explicit about the impact of violence in families on children and young people, specifically the risk for a child who sees or hears violence in domestic relationships.