Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 2016)


In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is offering resources to help educate parents caregivers, families, educators, professionals, and policy makers about domestic violence and its impact on children and families.

In an interview on PBS, Esta Soler from Futures Without Violence reminds us that ‘in the 20 years  since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, we have seen a 64 percent reduction for domestic violence among adult women. But we’re only really halfway there.” According to the 2015 Intimate partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommmended Data Elements one in five women will become a victim of domestic violence.

In addition, 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.

Page Contents

Featured NCTSN Resources

Children and Domestic Violence Fact Sheet Series (2015) (PDF)
The NCTSN Domestic  Violence Collaborative Group announces a new series of fact sheets created for parents whose children have been affected by domestic violence. The set of 10 fact sheets gets to the heart of the experiences and needs of these children and families, and offers education in support of their resilience and recovery.

Community Violence: Reactions and Actions in Dangerous Times (2013) (PDF)
This resource provides information on community violence, how it can affect daily lives, and what to do for support.

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) 

Domestic Violence
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.

NCTSN Military Families Learning Community Master Speaker Series: Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence in Military and Civilian Populations
The speakers define family maltreatment, discuss screening and assessing maltreatment, discuss risk and protective factors, and prevention.

NCTSN Speaker Series Building Resiliency: Supporting Youth Affected by Trauma and Community Violence   
Speakers discuss the impact of violence on youth and best practices for prevention and trauma intervention.

The Needs of Children in Domestic Violence Shelters (2010) (PDF)   
This toolkit for service providers is a teaching tool and guide for understanding how trauma from domestic violence impacts children and how best to serve these children's needs. The guide discusses the behavioral and mental health impact of domestic violence on children and parents; describes ways to teach positive parenting skills; provides assessment tools; lists resources specifically for service providers working with families in North Carolina.

Resilience and Child Traumatic Stress (2016) (PDF)   
The fact sheet provides an overview of resilience and what it can mean for children who experience a traumatic event.

Questions & Answers About Domestic Violence (2008) (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.

Violent Places, Dangerous Times: Does Community Violence Control Your Life? (2013) (PDF)   
This product is a checklist that youth can use to assess whether they experience community violence.

Partnerships Resources from the NCTSN
Pathways to Partnerships with Youth and Families in the National Traumatic Stress Network (2008) (PDF)   
Pathways  gives organizations the tools they need to begin the process of effective partnering. It offers trauma services agencies a structure for examining and expanding the role of youth and families in their organizations. Self-assessment tools, along with sample goals, objectives, activities, and strategies, help users evaluate current participation and target areas for further integrating youth and families. Practical examples illustrate the concepts and methods discussed.

Sharing Power: A Tool for Reflection (2016) (PDF)  
The tool guides providers through a series of reflections that will help them identify opportunities to share power in trauma-responsive partnerships. These opportunities exist from the outset of services through planning, decision making, evaluation, and coping with obstacles or crises.

Sharing Power FAQs (2016) (PDF)  
Sharing power is an integral part of trauma-informed practice, but it can be challenging to talk about power dynamics. This resource was developed to be a companion to What’s Sharing Power Got to Do with Trauma-Informed Practice? and Sharing Power: A Tool for Reflection in hopes that others may benefit from experiences hosting conversations about this important, yet potentially provocative, topic.

What’s Sharing Power Got to Do with Trauma-Informed Practice? (2016) (PDF)
Sharing power in partnerships is integral to trauma-informed services and support. This tip sheet points out the opportunities for sharing power throughout the journey of healing, and the ways in which shared power benefits outcomes. For example, relationships based on sharing power encourage help-seeking behaviors and support lasting change. 


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For Educators

Child Welfare Information Gateway 
Promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting professionals as well as the public to information about topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more. 
  • Domestic Violence, Child Welfare, and the School System
    Resources on how the school system identifies, responds, and provides support to children, youth, and families exposed to domestic violence and offers support to parents and caregivers who may be victims of domestic violence.


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For Judicial Personnel

Center for Court Innovation
The Center for Court Innovation seeks to help create a more effective and humane justice system by designing and implementing operating programs, performing original research, and providing reformers around the world with the tools they need to launch new strategies.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges provides all judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice.


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For Parents

Childhood Violent Trauma Center
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.

Child Witness to Violence Project
The Child Witness to Violence Project (CWVP) is a counseling, advocacy, and outreach project that focuses on young children who are the hidden victims of domestic and community violence, and other trauma-related events.
  • For Parents and Caregivers
    Provides information to help parents understand the effect of violence on children and provides information on how to support children exposed to violence.
Futures Without Violence
Works globally to prevent and end violence against women and children including domestic and dating violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.

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.

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For Policy Makers

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.

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.


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For Victim Services Professionals

Academy on Violence and Abuse
The academy expands health education and research to integrate knowledge about violence and abuse into the training of all health professionals to promote safe families, safe workplaces and safe communities.

  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare System (2014) (PDF)
    This bulletin discusses the extent of the overlap between domestic violence and child welfare, some of the effects of domestic violence on child witnesses, and the trend toward a more collaborative, communitywide response to the issue. It also features promising practices from States and local communities.

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.

Futures Without Violence
Works globally to prevent and end violence against women and children including domestic and dating violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.

The National Center on Domestic Violence
Trauma & Mental Health provides training, support, and consultation to advocates, mental health and substance abuse providers, legal professionals, and policymakers as they work to improve agency and systems-level responses to survivors and their children.


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For Youth

Break the Cycle
Break the Cycle is the leading national nonprofit organization working to provide comprehensive dating abuse prevention programs exclusively to young people.

Find Youth Info was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), which is composed of representatives from 18 federal agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth.
  • Dating Violence Prevention
    Provides resources which explain who is at risk for teen violence and resources for teens involved in an abusive relationship.

Love is Respect
Provides teens and young adults with information on how to prevent, recognize, and escape unhealthy relationships.

That’s Not Cool
That’s Not Cool is a website where teens can find tools, resources, forums, and more to help them “draw their digital line.” about what is, or is not, acceptable relationship behavior.


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