Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 2012)
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is offering resources to help educate parents and families, educators, professionals, and policy makers about domestic violence.
Mary Beth Buchanan, former acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), reminds us, "Domestic violence is not only a personal tragedy, it is a serious crime that negatively affects women, men, children, neighborhoods and communities. We must join together to address the causes of this crime so that each and every home can be a place of peace and safety."
Every year millions of children are exposed to domestic violence. Domestic violence incidents affect every person within a home and can have long-lasting negative effects on children's emotional well-being, and social and academic functioning.
The following resources provide information on the impact of domestic violence on children, families, and their communities.
Cops, Kids, & Domestic Violence: Protecting Our Future (2006) (Shockwave/Video)
A training program for law enforcement officers who deal with domestic violence calls. Provides information on what to do when encountering children while on the scene. Shows how to make positive and lasting changes in children exposed to violence. Features video and audio clips; runtime is about 20 minutes. Package also includes print materials. (PDF)
A section of the NCTSN website that provides extensive information about domestic violence and its impact on children. Also highlights programs within and outside the Network designed to help children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence.
Domestic Violence and Children: Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates (2010) (PDF)
A fact sheet on how children react to domestic violence, short- and long-term responses to domestic violence, possible reactions to domestic violence, factors that can help children recover, and working with parents and their children through domestic violence situations.
Helping Traumatized Children: Tips for Judges (2009) (PDF)
A fact sheet on the effects of trauma in children and adolescents, assessing the effects of trauma, and choosing appropriate service providers.
Questions & Answers About Domestic Violence (PDF)
Defines domestic violence, its effects on families, and physical and emotional effects on children. Also includes a brief section about treatment options for children exposed to domestic violence.
Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
Social service agency that helps “children and families involved with the justice system as victims of crime, witnesses of crime, parties in custody disputes, subjects of child protection proceedings, litigants in civil suits for compensation, teenagers in therapeutic care settings, or youthful offenders.”
- Children and Domestic Violence
Links to resources (most available as downloads; some can be ordered) for professionals, parents, and students to help infants, children, and teens who have witnessed violence.
- Helping Traumatized Children Learn (2005) (PDF)
A "school-wide flexible framework and a public policy agenda for creating trauma-sensitive school environments where traumatized children and their classmates can focus, behave, and learn."
Ontario Women's Directorate
Resources for women experiencing violence including a crisis hotline, information on gaining financial independence, working toward healthy relationships, funding for related service and program organizations, and more.
- Woman Abuse Affects Our Children: An Educator's Guide (2007) (PDF)
Designed for elementary school teachers, principals, and guidance counselors: helps identify children who have been or may be exposed to abuse of women; provides support and referrals.
National Center for Children Exposed to Violence
A resource center whose mission includes helping “to reduce the impact of violence on children and families and increasing public awareness of the effects of violence on children, families, communities and society.” Offers training and support for professionals, access to partners in national collaborations promoting best practices, links to other domestic violence and abuse websites, and more.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
A resource center that offers information for survivors of domestic violence and their children, and agencies that work with them. Works to end violence against women and children through coalition building, support for battered women and children through alternative programs such as safe homes and shelters, public awareness education and technical assistance, developing policies and innovative legislation, and much more.
U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)
Provides assistance (financial and technical) to communities working toward ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Through grants and agreements OVW helps protect and offer services to victims and enables communities to hold offenders accountable. Includes links to related help hotlines and resources, nationwide family justice centers, tips on how to help end domestic violence, and more.
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
A statewide coalition composed of domestic violence organizations, programs, and individuals dedicated to eliminating violence in the District of Columbia. Focuses on legislative and judicial activity impacting domestic violence and related issues including tracking and analyzing. Educates policy makers, conducts outreach and public awareness campaigns, advocates for funding, develops materials, offers technical assistance and training, provides information on national legislation and amendments, and more.
Futures Without Violence
Works globally to prevent and end violence against women and children including domestic and dating violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.
- Public Policy
Raises awareness about and provides expertise on domestic violence. Helps pass laws to stop violence and support victims; provides action alerts and access to legislative updates; advises Congress and the Executive Branch. Program areas include immigrant women, children, teens, the military, and workplace violence.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
A resource center that offers information for survivors of domestic violence and their children, and agencies that work with them. Works to end violence against women and children through coalition building and support for battered women and children.
- The Public Policy Office
Deals with issues related to domestic violence: lobbies and provides information and technical assistance to Congress; helps develop and influence legislation; works directly with domestic violence victims and their children; advocates at local, state, and national levels. Also provides access to national policies and priorities of domestic violence legislators, existing national laws, state and local policies related to domestic violence, upcoming legislative action events, and congressional contacts.
National Network to End Domestic Violence
A social-change organization composed of state domestic violence coalitions, allied organizations, and supportive individuals that works at a national policy level to help domestic violence victims and their advocates.
- Public Policy
Offers programs and resources related to domestic violence including advocacy, social change, training, technical assistance, and support to victims through state and national collaborations and partnerships.
Safe Start Center
A resource center that supports the Safe Start Initiative, which is involved in reducing the impact of children's exposure to violence by improving services and promoting evidence-based strategies. Offers links to websites and other resources on evidence-based practices, service delivery strategies, The Defending Childhood Initiative, and more.
- A Judicial Checklist for Children and Youth Exposed to Violence (PDF)
Topics addressed include exposure to violence and the type of exposure, legal system responses, therapeutic interventions, and questions to ask about children and youth exposed to domestic and community violence.
- Practitioners and Advocates
A comprehensive list of tools and resources from various organizations on providing care for children who have experienced violence. Includes curricula and training manuals; Spanish-language publications; resources for families and caregivers, teens, young adults, and refugee families; tip sheets on trauma-informed care; webinars, and more.
- Trauma Informed Care Tip Sheets
Selected resources for eight audiences on providing trauma-informed care: parents and other caregivers, child welfare staff, early childhood providers, men and fathers, domestic violence and homeless shelters, teachers, agencies and staff that work with youth, and agencies that work with immigrant families.
Domestic Violence Awareness Project
Provides information on the history of Domestice Violence Awarenss Month and offers suggestions on how your organization can be part of the campaign to stop domestic violence.