I was actually hesitant to mention the well-being of this child, simply because the mother is already on the defensive, and I got a sense that it could have been construed as criticism, rather than an objective observation. VERY good point, Blond100.
The children, indeed, are horribly damaged by the ongoing chaos, which is why someone has to step up to the plate, and center themselves to teach the children that "life isn't fair," and how to press on with calm and common sense. It's tantamount to becoming an advocate of truth and fact, and acknowledging feelings and emotions as valid, but not always reliable. It's no easy task, as I'll witness from my own personal experiences.
My children suffered horribly from the exposure to the domestic violence and abuse, and the subsequent ugliness that resulted from my divorce from their father. And, I had nowhere to turn, and no blog or website to consult - my own family members chose to support the abuser instead of their child, such was his charm and depth of manipulations. And, here is an irrefutable fact with regard to the whole matter of what happens to the children of such dysfuction: there are only 2 outcomes for children who are raised in such an environment of dysfunction. They will develop into a) a perfect victim, or b) a perfect abuser. There are no other outcomes without strong and hard work by the non-abuser parent. This is a fact. It's not a feeling, belief, or opinion. It's a statistical and documented fact. There's also a factor that DNA plays in the offspring, but that's for an entirely different discussion.
Here's the bottom line: the years of trauma cannot - can not - be recovered and healed within one fell swoop. One step at a time is the only way to emerge from DV&A with any success. Without rewiring the catastrophic thinking, learning how to interrupt the vortex from forming, and developing a "practical mind" to meet the "emotional mind" in the center, a victim of DV&A will inevitably choose another abuser, either in the form of another intimate partner, or friends/associates. It's hard and challening work, and it has to begin somewhere. The behaviors and reactions are widely noted as "normal" for victims of DV&A to experience, and there is a cycle that is also noted by trained professionals that are directly associated with the traumas. The recovery has to begin, somewhere. Only after recovery can actual healing of the mind, body, and spirit truly begin.
For me, it was coming to accept the fact that specific people didn't care. I could not wrap my head around this fact, for a long, long time. How can someone with whom I produced children, or pledged my loyalty and devotion to "not care?" How is that even possible? Well, it took some time and contemplation to get to "acceptance." And, "acceptance" is that point where I could no longer wish for, negotiate, or bargain for a more pleasant or comfortable set of facts. There is no pleasant, easy, or simple path to "acceptance." It is painful, challenging, sad, and arduous.
Meditation, prayer, mindfulness, or even being "present" helps to quiet the mind and stop the endless chatter of trauma. This allows for contemplation of facts, rather than reactions to triggers.
One step at a time. And, I believe that recognizing what the child is suffering might also be a powerful catalyst to getting down and doing the hard work of personal recovery. The child will see and learn about healthy coping strategies, how to construct and maintain boundaries, and that they are precious in this vast Universe because their non-abuser parent has evolved into a survivor and emerged as a centered and balanced individual. Indeed.........what a very, very important point.