Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 2015)


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.

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 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey one in four 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 (2013) (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.

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.

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.

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.

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For Educators

Center 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.

Massachusetts Advocates for Children

  • Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume II (2013) (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.


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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.

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.

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
    Provides information on action alerts, explains how to contact congressional representatives, and describes key national legislation affecting victims and survivors of violence.

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.


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For Victim Services Professionals

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.

Child Welfare Informaltion Gateway
Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more.

  • Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare System
    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.

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 (2006) (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.
  • Tools and Resources
    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.

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.

  • Online Training & Resource Center
    Tools and resources on trauma-informed, family-centered services for children, parents and caregivers affected by DV and other trauma including an archived 10-part webinar series, best practice guidance and other training tools.


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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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