chapter  16
The impact of exposure to domestic abuse on children and young people
Lessons from research
ByStephanie Holt
Pages 14

This chapter provides children and young people with a prominent place at the research table, giving voice to their lived experiences. It considers some definitional and methodological issues, proceeding to map some prevalence data on children's exposure before providing an account of the impact of that exposure across numerous dimensions. The chapter explores impact within and across the following domains: domestic abuse as an abusive context for children, parenting in the context of domestic abuse, considering impact through a developmental lens, multiple adversities co-occurring with domestic abuse, and post-separation contact and continued abusive experiences. A potently consistent message resonating through the literature regarding best practice with children exposed to domestic abuse, regardless of their age and developmental stage, is the need for this exposure to end. Post-separation contact is a potentially abusive experience for children who are 'caught in the crossfire' and who are exposed to the physical, sexual and psychological abuse of their mother during contact visits.