Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.
Abusive behaviour can occur in any relationship. It can continue even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers.
Witnessing domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people.
Developing healthy brains
Every child needs loving nurturing care from the adults around them if they are to develop the healthy brains they need to be able to thrive and this is even more important in the first few years of life. The toxic stress that abuse causes means that a child's healthy brain development can be impaired.
The good news is our brains aren't fully formed until around the age of 25, so there are plenty of opportunities to help young people develop the skills they need and to overcome the impact of earlier toxic stress.
Watch this short film to find out more about the impact toxic stress can have on a child’s healthy brain development.