CHILDREN in Paisley who witness domestic abuse are four times more likely to carry a weapon or seriously harm someone than children from non-violent homes.
That’s one of the results from a new study undertaken by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
These children are also more likely to be involved in a mixture of anti-social behaviour and twice as likely to be excluded from school.
An estimated 100,000 children in Scotland are affected by family violence and, for some, witnessing violence can cause trauma and distress so severe it can have a massive impact on their well-being and ultimately their behaviour.
The research showed that children who have witnessed violence between parents or other family members are also three times more likely to take drugs, steal, spray graffiti or bully others.
Matt Forde, of NSPCC Scotland, said: “Domestic violence does immense damage to children’s lives.
“Even if a child hasn’t been physically harmed themselves, they can still be hugely impacted by what has happened.
“This is something we have always known but these figures give us strong new evidence of a correlation.
“Of course not every child who behaves badly will be suffering from abuse, especially if it’s an isolated incident, but we need professionals who work with children and others to be alert to the full picture of a child’s circumstances rather than considering their behaviour in isolation.”
Adults, including professionals worried about a child, but unsure whether to report their concerns, can call the NSPCC for help and advice on 0808 800 5000, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text on 88858.