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How does domestic violence or accusations affect children?

Domestic violence has a serious effect on children. Even more serious is the effect an unwarranted accusation of domestic violence could have on your life and your children. Imagine them being told that you've done horrible things to their other parent or that they themselves have been victimized without knowing it. Children are impressionable, and accusations could threaten your relationship with yours.

Domestic violence can lead to several issues for children including depression, eating disorders, alcoholism or drug use and criminality. Children exposed to true violence are twice as likely to experience violence when they grow and have adult relationships of their own.

While some studies show that children who have witnessed or been subjected to abuse suffer no long-lasting consequences, that's not true for all children. Children who are exposed to parents who constantly accuse each other of crimes or who talk negatively about the other parent may become alienated from one of the two parents or both. This is a serious concern for the parents and the court. If the judge feels this is happening, he or she may be able to place a restraining order or change custody rights to stop the issue. In some instances, though, the damage is done and the children have their own opinions and so-called false memories as a result of what they've been told or overheard.

If you're accused of domestic violence, don't take it lightly. Your children could suffer even if the allegations aren't true. It's your right to fight back and make sure others are aware of the intentions of the other parent to hurt your reputation.

Source: Florida Courts, "Florida's Dependency Benchbook- Domestic Violence and the Effects on Children," accessed Jan. 30, 2018

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