According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child of United Nations, every child enjoy civil, economic, political, cultural and social rights which must be respected and protected from exploitation, abuse and other negative influences.


Unfortunately, among numerous domestic violence incidents, family not only fails to function as a protector for children but imposes harm on children in different levels. From a remedial perspective, we should first help children leave the violent environment and clarify that domestic violence is not a result of their fault, so as to prevent misunderstanding or psychological disturbances which bring negative impact to their health, emotion and study.


The following are some frequently asked questions which are expressed in a simple way for children’s understanding:

Q1 What is domestic violence?

When actions such as fighting, pushing, throwing and yelling take place, it is domestic violence. Domestic violence can occur among parents, siblings, other cohabiting family members and even yourself. Whatever the reasons are, domestic violence is not a right behaviour and not caused by your wrong doings.


When you witness or experience domestic violence, you may be in fear or disturbed. Hope the following information are helpful.

Q2 What are the types of domestic violence?

Domestic violence is not only physical assault but also includes verbal violence, sexual violence and negligence in care.


Physical violence: Behaviours such as punching, slapping, pushing, kicking, throwing, damaging properties or hurting your pet(s) to harm you or other family members.


Verbal violence: yelling with foul language, insulting, scolding you and other family members with vulgar terms and even threatening to harm you.


Sexual violence: To touch your intimate parts or force you to touch his/her intimate parts, or to show or force you to watch pornographic videos or images without your consent.


Negligence in care: Sufficient care is not provided, for example, not providing food, clean clothing, and protecting your personal safety.

Q3 If domestic violence unfortunately occurs, what can I do?

Abusers may attribute you to the problem and the occurrence of violence and make you feel guilty and shameful and fear of telling others. It is only the abuser’s technique in which you should believe. You should not be blamed for other’s violence. On the contrary, using violence is in fact a wrong doing.


It is not a secret or shame under domestic violence. You should tell adults you trust such as teachers, school social workers, relatives, friends, classmates’ parents, neighbours and even the police. But bear in mind not to stop seeking help if not receiving immediate response. You can tell what you face to more adults you trust until appropriate actions are taken to eradicate your fear and make you feel safe.


Like many others, if you find it hard to tell others face-to-face about the violent incident, you can express your needs and worries to adults you trust by means of phone, email or drawings to resolve the problem as soon as possible and prevent it from worsening.

Q4 Mother says we can temporarily live in a refuge centre for women. What place is that?

A refuge centre for women is a temporary free accommodation provided to women and their children under domestic violence. To avoid any disturbances to residents, the addresses of the centres are confidential and information of the centres including transport means and routes to the centres must not be told to others. Under safe conditions, you can freely enter and exit the centre with your mother’s company including going to school. If you cannot attend school for special reasons, you can join the homework guidance class provided to primary school students to keep up your learning process.


Refuge centres are with basic daily amenities including bedrooms, bathrooms, washrooms, kitchens, washing machines and etc. Besides, various kinds of visual-audio facilities, computers and toys are provided to cater for different needs. In general, these facilities are shared. Maximum accommodation duration is three months in which no fee is charged.


Apart from accommodation services, social workers in the centres would also help your mother plan your future life. For any inquiries, you can ask the social workers who are very willing to listen to your needs and help.

Q5 I am only fourteen years old. If I am under domestic violence, can I apply for accommodation in refuge centres for women?

Yes.  Girls aged from 13 to 18 can apply for individual accommodation in refuge centre for women through Integrated Family Service Centres / Integrated Services Centres.

Q6 Does it mean I can never see my father again after accommodating in refuge centres for women?

No. Accommodation in refuge centres for women is only a short-term arrangement. Even you do not live with your father afterwards, your parent child relationship with him does not change and you are still his daughter. If you would like to meet your father but are afraid to upset your mother, you can talk to a social worker who will understand your will and provide you with suitable assistance and arrangement.

Q7 I have witnessed or been under domestic violence. Will this cause propensity of violence on me?

No. Many children with domestic violence experience grow up without propensity of violence. On the contrary, they will be more understanding of victims’ difficulties and needs so they hate violence. The causes for domestic violence are complicated. Learning to respect women and communicating in a non-violent way, you can get along well with others.

Last revision date: April 2023