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Bill of Rights for Women who have Experienced Violence

I have the right not to be abused.

I have the right to be angry about abuse I have experienced.

I have the right to change the situation.

I have the right to freedom from fear of abuse.

I have the right to want a better role model for my children.

I have the right to be treated like an adult.

I have the right to leave an abusive environment.

I have the right to privacy.

I have the right to express my own thoughts and feelings.

I have the right to develop my talents and abilities.

I have the right to legally prosecute my abusive partner.

I have the right not to be perfect.



Effects of Witnessing Domestic Violence on Children

Children who witness domestic violence learn:

  • How to keep a family secret
  • How to get what they want through aggression and manipulation
  • People who love them hurt them
  • Violence, although painful, is an acceptable part of life

Characteristics of children who witness violence at home:

  • Have a strong sense of isolation and helplessness
  • Solve their problems through force
  • Have high levels of anxiety
  • Have declining sympathy for their mother as they age, and often overt hostility replaces any sympathy they once had
  • Often develop PTSD and re-experience trauma through nightmares, flashbacks, etc.
  • Decreased self-esteem and few personal expectations for success
  • Blame themselves for family disruptions