Parents & Caregivers

Children are exposed to violence when they see abuse happen, when they over hear abuse, when they see the aftermath (such as bruises or a hole in the wall), or when they sense tension in the home.   

Many parents stay “for the sake of the children”, but while living in a home where there is abuse, children learn unhealthy lessons about relationships. Children might see violence as a way to get what they want. They might believe that when they hurt others they won’t get in trouble. Children often think that unhealthy relationships are normal, which makes them believe that behaving this way is okay.

These unhealthy lessons impact your children. Children exposed to abuse and violence need special care and support to rebuild their trust, self-esteem, and feelings of safety. They need to see and experience healthy, supportive relationships to learn positive relationship skills for their futures.

Here are some ways you can provide care and support for your children:

  • Get help for your children by getting help for yourself.
  • Talk to a health professional about your children (like a doctor or a counselor).
  • Surround them with healthy role models – people that you trust who can show them that violence and abuse is not acceptable. This could be teachers, family, friends, or people from organizations that provide programs for children.
  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings.
  • Listen to them and believe them.
  • See if you can find ways to reduce your own stress, like getting emotional support from a friend. This will help you to be a positive support for your children.
  • Teach them non-violent ways to express fear, anger, and settle disagreements.
  • Make sure they understand that violence and abuse are wrong and that what is happening is not their fault.
  • Register yourself and your children in counselling or community programs that can help you work through the issues you are facing and build supports.

WHO to Contact

Children Exposed to Violence in Families Program
Catholic Family Services of Saskatoon                    
Children Exposed to Violence in Families Program
Family Service Saskatoon                            
Children Who Are Exposed to Conflict Program
Catholic Family Services of Prince Albert                    
Children Who Witness Domestic Violence Program
YWCA of Regina                                
Children Exposed to Violence in Families
Catholic Family Services of the Battlefords (North Battleford)        
Envision Counselling and Support Centre (Estevan)
Mamawetan Churchill River Regional Health Authority (La Ronge)                  306-425-2422
Moose Jaw Women’s Transition Association Inc.

Children, teens, and young adults can also contact the Kids Help Phone for support by phone or online.  

Kids Help Phone
1-800-668-6868 (toll free)