One of the very important things to remember about an abusive situation is that it is a life-or-death event to leave. Any hint of leaving to any friend, family member, the abuser, the abuser's "friends," mutual friends, or children cannot occur. Nobody should be informed, even though the victim may feel that they need to tell someone. Tell the Victim's Services advocate or the counseling therapist, but tell nobody else, including the children.
Children are the most vulnerable of all and they should never, ever be saddled with such heavy adult issues. Their tender souls and their parental loyalty will be tested until they break. "Tell me what s/he's planning and I will be kind to them." A child is obligated to trust the people in whose care they are under. An abusive parent knows this, and they will extract the information from a child in one way, or another.