This article discusses the issue of children witnessing abuse in their families and describes the psychological and physical damage to development suffered by these children, in addition to the approach she uses in psychotherapy with them. With the help of clinical vignettes, the author suggests that the traumatic consequences on children witnessing violent relationships in their families are similar both in the case of conflict and in that of abusing fathers. She therefore suggests to extend the concept of witnessing abuse also to situations of violent marital conflict. The author invites psychotherapists to pay greater attention to indicators of witnessing abuse in the family in order to suggest proper protection measures.
Keywords: Witnessing abuse in the family, trauma, conflict, psychotherapy