The child’s longstanding obscurity within the system can, at least in part, be explained by the way children have been constructed as passive observers or witnesses to the violence and attributed a corresponding lack of agency by professionals and academics. Regardless of the coping style adopted, the evidence suggests that internalising and externalising behaviours in childhood present detectable clues to a child’s distress that may differ at different stages of development. A number of the participants reported persistent fears over losing their own children to local authority care if professional services became aware of the violence in their own relationships. From an early age, children were being inculcated into believing that adults had a means to know what children were thinking and doing, and in some cases, participants reported that their parent/s were actively forbidding them to tell anyone about what was happening at home or there would be serious consequences.