Most people think of domestic violence as fighting between adults that live together, with one person usually being abused or mistreated. Many people do not realize that children who witness domestic violence can be victims themselves and are always negatively impacted by witnessing violence. In Utah, the commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child is legally considered an act of child abuse. (Utah Code 76-5-109.1)
Children can be threatened with injury or may be traumatized by seeing violence between parents. It is not unusual for a child to also be injured and/or caught up in the middle of a domestic fight. Children often develop intense fears and feel helpless because they are unable to protect a parent from abuse. Children sometimes blame themselves for not preventing the violence or the child may feel he/she caused the problem to begin with. Children in these situations often end up abused or neglected.