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Violence against women and children

Although this website is focused on preventing violence against women, we know that there are very clear links between men's violence against women in its many forms and the exploitation and abuse of children.

For example, in cases of domestic abuse, children and young people often hear or see what's happening. They might hear shouting and hitting, or see their mum upset or injured. On nine out of ten occasions, the child is in the same or the next room during attacks on their mother (ChildLine, 2004).Some children and young people are also hurt by the abuser.

A minimum of 750,000 British children and young people a year are witnesses to domestic abuse (BMA Board of Science, 2007) and in Scotland, children make up more than half the residents in refuge.

In 2008 the Scottish Government published a National Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan to address the issue of domestic abuse in Scotland in relation to its impacts on children and young people. You can see it here:

Other common forms of violence against women can also affect children. For example, the pornography industry actively grooms children for sexual exploitation. And many women working in prostitution began doing so when they were children - up to 70% of women in prostitution begin selling sex before they reach 18 and the global average age of entry is only 13-14. (Paying the Price, 2004).

It is important to note that children who live with domestic abuse or other forms of violence or exploitation don't automatically grow up to have relationships with abusive people or to use domestic abuse themselves. Lots of children who have lived with domestic abuse grow up determined to live free of domestic abuse and exploitation.