Intimate partner violence is a pervasive problem and many children and adolescents live under such circumstances. The aim of this research is to qualitatively explore variations among adolescents’ reactions to violence occurring at their homes by trying to identify specific patterns in how these adolescents reacted to the violence and how this is related to the length of time they have been exposed to the violence. Fifty‐eight adolescents (26 boys and 32 girls, 13–18 years of age) recruited in their schools completed a self‐report questionnaire including qualitative open questions regarding the beginning of the violence and their reactions to it. Adolescents often described having reacted to the violence by attempting to distance themselves from it, or by interfering to protect their mother. Only the adolescents who began witnessing family violence at a specific point in time, when something significant happened in their families or because of changes in society, expressed not wanting to think about it or described being impeded from interfering or protecting their mothers because they felt distressed. Among the adolescents who had experienced family violence for their entire life, they often described that they did nothing to prevent the violence or they avoided thinking about it.