At only 8 years old, she saved her mother from domestic violence. What psychological impact can this have?

At only 8 years old, she saved her mother from domestic violence.  What psychological impact can this have?

An eight-year-old girl, who witnessed violence by her father against her mother, called the police for help. They were able to arrive in time and the little girl’s mother was saved. What psychological impact will such an act have on this young girl? Psychologist Amélie Boukhobza enlightens us.

Mom gets beaten by my dad. In the face. He also has a knife. I’m very scared” explained the little 8-year-old girl on the phone, calling the police last Saturday. The young child had the reflex to notify the police when she saw her father drunk, pulling her mother’s hair, hitting her in the face and threaten her with a knife.

A child who saved her mother’s life

Without the girl’s appeal, the outcome could have been fatal. explains Eric Couvrat, member of the SGP Police 93 unit. Indeed, according to his neighbors, the man is known to drink too much, particularly on weekends and thus increase his brutality on this occasion… The prosecution has opened an investigation, for acts of violence by a spouse resulting in an ITT of less than 8 days, with use of a weapon and in a state of intoxication.

A heroic gesture, but with what psychological impact for the little girl?

After publicizing the story, neighbors, and generally public opinion, welcomed the young child’s gesture. “I am proud of her because she had the courage to do it, many cannot do it out of fear.” commented one of her neighbors. However, such an action is not without consequences on an eight-year-old child.

Questioned, psychologist Amélie Boukhobza confirms that “all violence is a trauma, even more so for a child, at least until adolescence“. Indeed, for reasons of both organic and psychological maturation, the child is not capable of handling violent situations.

Protect children from violence as much as possible

“The child, to grow correctly, must be almost “under a bell”. That is to say in the world of illusions that is childhood. In fairy tales“, supports the specialist. “Juntil it is strong enough to ‘take a beating’ without being too damaged! And the main blow is to discover that the world is unfair, that there are lies, violence, inequalities, constraint…” she adds.

What are the consequences for a child exposed to violence too early?

According to Amélie Boukhobza, they are multiple. “There are disorders that occur immediately: loss of self-confidencepoor performance at school, lack of concentration, sleeping troubles, appetite…“.

Subsequently, there is also the weight of taking on a responsibility that is not meant to be one’s own. “In the case of this little girl, she becomes responsible for saving her mother and therefore taking care of her in the future. Because she herself (the mother) is not capable of it. And if she can’t take care of herself, maybe she won’t be able to take care of her children either, her daughter might wonder. To protect them. It’s very insecure, especially if the violent person is the father, supposed to be the second point of contact.”.

For the expert, “We must always reassure a child, faced with the astonishment of the scene experienced. That is to say, talking about it to displace the violence and restore order and meaning. In this case, we can for example say to him: ” you called for help, your mother is safe, he has been arrested, he will be punished by the law…” so there is justice somewhere” she concludes.