05 March 2019

Children and young people's unique experiences of family violence: Family violence and children and young people in Tasmania

This is the Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People’s report on children and young people’s experiences of family violence (FV). The effects of FV on children and young people can have a detrimental impact  on their development, and physical and mental wellbeing. The experience of FV is a form of ‘complex trauma’ as children are exposed to multiple, chronic and prolonged developmentally adverse traumatic events, and suffer substantial long-term impact of this exposure. Children and young people do not have to directly witness, or be subjected to family violence in order to be affected. Many who have experienced FV display high levels of self-efficacy and resilience; therefore it should not be assumed that their potential to succeed is lessened compared to those who have not experienced FV or that they will grow up to be perpetrators themselves. The continuation of a child’s secure attachment to their primary caregiver (usually their mother) has been identified as a protective factor for children exposed to FV.