Domestic violence is a nationwide problem — including here in British Columbia. Sadly, many cases go unreported for various reasons, and many victims never seek orders of protection. A professor at a university in another province recently said that children might be the greatest victims of abusive domestic relations between parents. Even if the children are not physically abused, observing one parent suffering abuse by the other parent can cause life-long emotional scars.
These situations can cause high levels of stress in children, and it is common for a child to feel responsible for protecting one parent from the other. However, there may be conflicting feelings of love for the abusive parent. The professor said authorities often forget that the children of such households will likely have relationships with their parents for the remainder of their lives, and they will take the psychological consequences into adulthood.
While the safety of the abused victim must be the first concern, the authorities must address the long-term effects on the children. The professor said collaboration between different agencies could provide a balance between the short-term and the long-term concerns. Coordination between social services, family courts, and police may achieve the desired results.
Victims of domestic violence in British Columbia may find comfort in learning that help is available. An experienced family law attorney can assess the circumstances and explain the available remedies. A skilled lawyer can assist in obtaining orders of protection as immediate measures while pursuing solutions that are more permanent. These cases can be highly contentious, and the guidance and support provided by a seasoned lawyer can protect victims and their children from emotional and physical harm.
Source: CBC News Saskatchewan, “Children ‘perhaps the greatest victims of domestic violence,’ says family law expert“, Nov. 7, 2016