Every year, children and adolescents are exposed to the abuse and/or assault of adults by their intimate partners, largely violence against their mothers. Learn more about this social concern and health issue from the online resources, research and evaluations on: statistics from general and vulnerable population surveys, impacts of exposure including trauma, neurobiological effects and delayed cognitive development, patterns of adjustment and factors moderating adjustment, children experiencing domestic homicide, trauma, evidence-informed interventions, parenting supports for mothers and fathers, training initiatives, and prevention efforts such as public education campaigns.
A Comprehensive Review of the Literature on the Impact of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence for Children and Youth
This 2014 review presents findings from a comprehensive review of the literature on the impact of exposure to intimate partner violence for children and youth, focusing on: (a) neurological disorders; (b) physical health outcomes; (c) mental health challenges; (d) conduct and behavioural problems; (e) delinquency, crime, and victimization; and (f) academic and employment outcomes.
A Guide for Children Exposed to Violence Programs in Saskatchewan
This 2010 guide is intended to assist newly funded programs for children exposed to violence and may also serve as a resource to existing programs or to communities that want to develop new services. The guide reviews the impact of violence on children/youth, practice standards, confidentiality, community needs assessment, criminal record checks, child abuse record checks, engagement in services, benefits of group work for children/youth, recommended practices for group programs, service/program promotion, provincial resource lists, data collection, resources and curriculum guide, and program evaluation.
A Latent Class Approach to Understanding the Intergenerational Transmission of Violence in Emerging Adult Relationships
This 2015 article applies an innovative methodological approach to the study of the intergenerational transmission of violence (IGT), revealing variations in experiences of IGT. That is, there can be full transmission, psychological transmission, and no transmission. This is an abstract only. You can access the full article through the library, society membership, or by online purchase.
Addressing the Intergenerational Transmission of Gender-Based Violence: Focus on Educational Settings
This 2014 paper focuses on existing knowledge to prevent the transmission of gender-based violence (GBV) from one generation to the next, or the intergenerational transmission of GBV. Strategies for prevention and intervention are reviewed and assessed.
An Efficacy Trial of an Intervention Program for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence
This 2015 research article presents results from an efficacy trial that compared outcomes for 4–6 year old children randomly assigned to a program designed to address the effects of exposure to IPV with those allocated to a waitlist comparison condition. Mothers (N = 120) and children from the United States and Canada were assessed at baseline, 5 weeks later (post-intervention) and at 8-month follow-up. The evaluation compared rates of change over time for child internalizing problems. Results were analyzed using both intent-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) approaches. ITT analyses indicated the program reduced internalizing problems for girls at follow-up. PP analyses indicated the program reduced internalizing problems for both boys and girls at post-intervention. In this study, child internalizing problems were significantly reduced through an intervention for the mother and the child. This is an abstract only. You can access the full article through the library, society membership, or by online purchase.
Assessing the risks to children from domestic violence.
Julie Healy and Madeline Bell. Barnardo's Northern Ireland.
Findings from two pilot studies using the Barnardo's Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Model.
Beginning to Understand the Economic Costs of Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence
This 2014 paper estimates the costs of exposure to intimate partner violence for Canadian society. The authors estimate that each year there are approximately 125,000 new children exposed to intimate partner violence generating a yearly economic cost to society of $759 million for that one cohort of children in Canada. Over a period of 10 years, this one cohort would impose an economic cost of $7.0 billion, and this is substantially underestimated because it does not include the new sets of children exposed to intimate partner violence each year. As such, the potential for societal economic cost savings resulting from the prevention of intimate partner violence is significant.
Building Resilience: The Power to Cope With Adversity
This 2010 resource provides a synopsis of resiliency capabilities within the individual child, family, caregiving, and community levels. It states children who have grown up in challenging environments are still capable of engaging in age-appropriate activities, relating to others, and understanding their family life.
Bullying. The Facts.
PREVNet has released a new infographic, Bullying. The Facts. The infographic is part of an ongoing series and features the latest statistics on bullying. Check back soon for the next installment!
Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2008.
Nico Trocme, Barbara Fallon, Bruce MacLaurin, Vandna Sinha, Tara Black, Elizabeth Fast, Carlone Felstiner, Sonia Helie, Daniel Turcotte, Pamela Weightman, Janet Douglas & Jill Holroyd (2010)'
The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) examines the incidence of reported child maltreatment (including children exposed to domestic violence) among children and families investigated by Canadian child welfare sites from all 13 provinces and territories. This CIS-2008 report is made up of 15,980 child maltreatment investigations conducted in a representative sample of 112 Child Welfare Service organizations across Canada in the fall of 2008.
Canada’s Shelters for Abused Women, 2003/04.
Andrea Taylor-Butts (2005)
This article/research presents a profile of shelters providing residential services to abused women and their children across Canada in 2003/04. Additionally, through the use of a snapshot day (April 14, 2004), selected characteristics of the women and children using these facilities are presented. Data for this article come primarily from the Transition Home Survey (THS).
Children Experiencing Domestic Violence: A Research Review.
Nicky Stanley (2011)
This is a comprehensive review of research on children exposed to domestic violence. It discusses issues around prevalence; the impact on children’s development; parenting; violence in intimate relationships of youth; assessment and engagement with families experiencing domestic violence; interventions; and agency collaboration.
Children in Danger of Domestic Homicide.
Learning Network Brief (3)
Peter Jaffe and Marcie Campbell (2013). Based on current research, the authors comment on harm to children connected to domestic homicide and their safety.
Children See, Children Do.
National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) (2006)
The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) in Australia is a charitable organization that advocates for children’s rights and aims to prevent child abuse and neglect. NAPCAN developed a public awareness video titled Children See, Children Do. The video depicts young children imitating abusive behaviours of adults, including racism, child abuse and domestic violence. Children See, Children Do has had over 8 million views on YouTube.
Children Witnessing Family Violence.
Mia Dauvergne & Holly Johnson (2001)
This article provides an estimate of the number of children who have witnessed domestic violence in Canada using data from the 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization (GSS), the 1993 Violence Against Women Survey (VAWS) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (1998-99 cycle). The learning brief illustrates particular characteristics of families that have children who witnessed violence (e.g., parental alcohol consumption; parenting styles) and provides information on the impact of witnessing domestic violence on children and where families went to receive help and support services.
Children’s Exposure to Domestic Violence in Australia
This 2011 paper published by the Australian Institute of Criminology outlines how witnessing domestic violence can involve a range of incidents, ranging from the child 'only' hearing the violence, to the child being forced to participate in the violence or being used as part of a violent incident. Current knowledge about the extent of children's exposure to domestic violence in Australia is described, along with the documented impacts that this exposure can have on children. This includes psychological and behavioural impacts, health and socioeconomic impacts, and its link to the intergenerational transmission of violence and re-victimisation. Current legislative and policy initiatives are then described and some community-based programs that have been introduced in Australia to address the problem of children's exposure to domestic violence are highlighted. The paper concludes that initiatives focused on early intervention and holistic approaches to preventing and responding to children's exposure to domestic violence should be considered as part of strategies developed to address this problem.
Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence
This 2011 bulletin discusses US data from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), the most comprehensive nationwide survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to violence to date. NatSCEV survey results regarding exposure to family violence among children in the United States are explored.
Domestic Violence, Developing Brains, and the Lifespan. New Knowledge from Neuroscience.
This article, written by Lynn Hecht Schafran, outlines the impact of exposure to domestic violence on children’s development and behaviour from a neuroscience perspective. The paper also outlines what judges can do for children exposed to domestic violence.
Drawing Conclusions: An Intergenerational Transmission of Violence Perspective
This 2013 article reviews the articles in a special issue of Psychodynamic Psychiatry on the effects of intimate partner violence on women and children, integrating the findings into critical questions about intergenerational transmission of violence. The author's own psychodynamically informed framework is used to interpret the results of the studies. Finally, clinically relevant implications and research directions are briefly proposed. This is an abstract only. You can access the full article through the library, society membership, or by online purchase.
E-Newsletter Issue 3: December 2012. Children Exposed to Domestic Violence.
Every year, children are exposed to the abuse and/or assault of adults by their intimate partners. Canadian survey results tell us that the majority of children witnessing domestic violence saw or heard assaults against their mothers. In this issue, the Learning Network team provides information on the extent of children’s exposure to domestic violence, potential impacts of exposure, patterns of adjustment and factors moderating adjustment, traumatic stress reactions, neuro-cognitive and biological impacts, interventions, and resources. Four promising directions are highlighted: partnership between the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration and the Children’s Aid Society of London-Middlesex and of Oxford County; Women Abuse Affects Our Children: An Educator’s Guide, Caring Dads, and Children See, Children Do.
Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect for Adult Survivors
This 2014 resource sheet from the Australian Institute of Family Studies reviews what is known about the potential long-term effects of child abuse and neglect, including re-victimisation; physical health problems; mental health problems; suicidal behaviour; eating disorders and obesity; alcohol and substance abuse; aggression, violence and criminal behaviour; high-risk sexual behaviour; and homelessness. The resource sheet also discusses types of abuse and neglect; factors affecting the consequences of abuse and neglect; the intergenerational transmission of abuse and neglect; and research limitations.
Enhanced Services to Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence: Promising Practices & Lessons Learned
This 2012 Special Collection published by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence provides lessons learned and related resources from nine HHS-funded 3-year demonstration projects to enhance services to children and youth who have been exposed to domestic violence. The core document for this collection is the NRCDV resource guide, Enhanced Services to Children and Youth Who Have Been Exposed to Domestic Violence: Promising Practices & Lessons Learned.
Exposure to Domestic Violence and it's Effect on Children's Brain Development and Functioning.
Learning Network Brief #2
Marcie Campbell and Linda Baker (2013). A brief description of research studies suggesting that children's exposure to domestic violence can suppress a child's IQ, lead to premature aging, and influence the functioning of the brain's emotional systems.
Facing the Facts: Impact of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence on Children in the Home
This 2014 issue brief provides an overview of research findings about the impact of intimate partner violence on children in the home. Information is presented to help advocates, professionals, researchers, and community members identify and address the needs of these children.
Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2010.
Statistics Canada (2012)
The "Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile" reports on the prevalence and nature of family violence in Canada during 2010 using police-reported data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and Homicide Survey, and self-reported data from the General Social Survey on Victimization. Family violence includes violence against intimate partners, children and youth, and/or seniors. The purpose of this research is to inform the public of the risk factors associated with family violence and to inform intervention and prevention policies and programs.
Fathers for Change for Substance Use and Intimate Partner Violence: Initial Community Pilot.
This 2015 article examines Fathers for Change, an intervention focusing on the role of men with histories of IPV as fathers. Eighteen fathers with co-occurring IPV and substance abuse were randomly assigned to Fathers for Change or Individual Drug Counseling (IDC). They were assessed at baseline, post-intervention and 3 months following the 16-week intervention period. Men in the Fathers for Change group: (1) were more likely to complete treatment; (2) reported significantly greater satisfaction with the program; (3) reported a trend toward less IPV; and (4) exhibited significantly less intrusiveness in coded play interactions with their children following treatment than fathers in the IDC group. Results indicate further evaluation of this intervention in a larger sample is warranted. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed. This is an abstract only. You can access the full article through the library, society membership, or by online purchase.
First Impressions: Exposure to Violence and a Child’s Developing Brain.
This YouTube video features Dr. Bruce Perry, senior fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas, and Dr. Linda Chamberlain, founding director, Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project, demonstrating how exposure to domestic violence can impact a child’s development and behaviour and how the impact is expressed by children of different ages. The video takes a neuroscience perspective showing how exposure to domestic violence can have a detrimental impact on a child’s developing brain.
Graph Showing Growth of Research on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence from 1990 to 2009.
Jaffe, P., Wolfe, D.A., Campbell, M. (2012).
Healthy Moms, Happy Babies: A Train the Trainers Curriculum on Domestic Violence, Reproductive Coercion and Children Exposed
This 2011 curriculum was designed for home visitation programs. It provides training on the impact of violence on families as well as tools for staff to conduct effective assessment and education during home visits.
Helping Children Thrive. Supporting Woman Abuse Survivors as Mothers: A Resource to Support Parenting.
Linda Baker & Alison Cunningham (2004)
This resource was developed for service providers assisting women who have survived woman abuse and includes information for women with lived experience of domestic violence. Topics include: the needs of abused women as mothers; how abusive men parent; how abusive men affect family dynamics; the effects of power and control tactics on mothers; the potential impact of woman abuse on children of different ages; and strategies used by young people to cope with violence in their homes. This resource also provides information on how to parent children exposed to violence. Included in the resource are handouts for women to be given out during individual or group interventions regarding woman abuse or parenting.
Helping My Child: A Guide to Supporting Children Exposed to Domestic Violence.
Dr. Sue Penfold (2005)
This guide is the first of a three-part series, “Helping Children Cope with Domestic Violence,” that is intended to help mothers, caregivers, and service providers support children exposed to domestic violence. The guide looks at the dynamics of domestic violence and what impact it has on mothers and children. It outlines what mothers can do to help keep their children and themselves safe and it provides useful resources for support and information.
Honor Our Voices.
Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA), University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, AVON Foundation for Women (2011)
Honor Our Voices is an online training module, for social service providers, based on the direct experiences of children exposed to domestic violence. Learn from the “diaries” of David, Lucia and Alex. Each diary illustrates important themes around children exposed to domestic violence including: developmental impacts of domestic violence on children; effective safety planning; resiliency factors; intervention and prevention strategies; and short- and long-term support plans. The module is interactive and user-friendly and can be completed at your own pace.
In plain sight: Effective help for children exposed to domestic abuse.
This is the second national policy report from Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) in the UK. This 2014 report provides information on the experience of adult victims of domestic violence and, for the first time, evidence from their Children’s Insights dataset. The dataset is comprised of 877 children’s cases of exposure to domestic violence captured by frontline specialist children’s workers and supplemented by data directly from 331 children. The report outlines the six identified key findings: 1) there is a major overlap between direct harm to children and domestic abuse; 2) children are suffering multiple physical and mental health consequences as a result of exposure to domestic abuse; 3) a quarter of the children exhibit abusive behaviours, mostly once their exposure to domestic abuse has ended; 4) only half of these children were previously known to children’s social care but 80% were known to at least one public agency; 5) children’s outcomes significantly improve across all key measures after support from specialist children’s services; and 6) data shows a relationship between cessation of domestic abuse and cessation of direct harm to children. The report also provides recommendations for intervention and prevention.
Interactive Learning Tool.
An Interactive Learning Tool on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence. This tool was developed in tamdem with Issue 3 of the Learning Network e-newsletter. It has many interactive features and can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, it can be used as a teaching tool or a ready-made presentation for those who wish to share information. Eventually, this tool will be housed in our Professional Training/Curriculum section. You will be able to scroll through and interact with the features of this tool. To access this Interactive Learning Tool, you should not require extra downloads. It is simple to use and contains friendly navigation tips that will appear after the first page. Please complete the survey at the end of this in tool.
Intergenerational Transmission of Abuse: Implications for Parenting Interventions from a Neuropsychological Perspective
In this 2013 research article, a discussion of the cognitive, social, and emotional deficits of child and adult survivors of childhood maltreatment is presented. This is followed by a critical overview of how current parenting interventions fail to take into account the neuropsychological mechanisms behind the intergenerational transmission of abuse. A conceptual model of the neuropsychological transmission of childhood maltreatment is presented. This model will allow child welfare practitioners to gain a greater understanding of the specific deficits of individuals who have experienced childhood maltreatment and how parenting interventions may be enhanced for this population. This represents one step forward in breaking the cycle of the intergenerational transmission of childhood maltreatment. This is an abstract only. You can access the full article through the library, society membership, or by online purchase.
Intergenerational Violence: The Post-Migration Context in Canada
This 2015 working paper from the Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement is a review of the literature on intergenerational violence; specifically on child abuse, conflicts between adolescents/youth and their parents, and elder abuse. Each of these areas are explored using an intersectionality approach as the authors present definitions of violence, risk and protective factors, and barriers to help-seeking. The analysis reveals that gender and gendered manifestations of violence intersect with ageism, racism, sexism, and other factors requiring a complex understanding as well as nuanced solutions to addressing intergenerational violence in the post-migration context. The review also demonstrates a need for further research into the possible role of immigration stress in intergenerational violence and into the cultural and structural factors that may mitigate its effects.
Intervening After Intimate Partner Violence: Children's Mental Health Research Quarterly.
Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly, Children’s Health Policy Centre (2012)
A recent review of the evaluations of four intervention programs was published in the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly (2012). The outcomes of these randomized controlled trials, point to characteristics of programs that benefit exposed children: Addressing safety; Helping women access resources; Providing parenting education; Providing direct support to children. Programs that specifically addressed parenting significantly reduced behavioural problems in exposed children. Additional research is required to help determine what interventions for children exposed to domestic violence will be most helpful for what children, in what dosages, and at what points in their development.
Interventions to Prevent Child Maltreatment
This 2014 research brief defines child maltreatment (which includes exposure to IPV) and its incidence and prevalence in Canada. The consequences of CM across the life course are explored in addition to risk factors, practice and policy implications, and research gaps.
Interventions with Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A Guide for Professionals.
Dr. Sue Penfold (2005)
This guide is the last of the three-part series, “Helping Children Cope with Domestic Violence.” This guide is designed for service providers to assist in frontline intervention. Topics include: understanding the dynamics of domestic violence; prevalence; the impact of domestic violence on women and children; dealing with disclosures; developing safety plans; making referrals; intervention programs for children exposed; and how to find resources and further information on children exposed to domestic violence.
Keeping Children & Mothers Safe and Engaging Men who use Abusive Behaviours: VAW and CAS Collaboration Knowledge Exchange.
The Learning Network hosted a Forum on September 19, 2013 on VAW and CAS collaboration. The focus was on keeping children and mothers safe and engaging men who use abusive behaviours. The learning objectives included: understanding the issue within a gender-based analysis; identifying principles and practice strategies for engaging men who use violence; identifying risk factors and potential assessment tools for evaluating child risk in the context of domestic violence; and identifying promising practices in VAW and CAS collaboration.
Keeping Children & Mothers Safe and Engaging Men who use Abusive Behaviours: VAW and CAS Perspectives.
Learning Brief #15
On September 19, 2013, the Learning Network hosted a forum Keeping Children and Mothers Safe and Engaging Men who use Abusive Behaviours: VAW and CAS Collaboration which brought together 144 professionals from nine regions across the province who represented the VAW, CAS, and government sectors. The overall objectives of the forum were to understand VAW and CAS collaboration with a gender-based analysis, identify principles and practice strategies for engaging men who use abusive behaviours, identify risk factors and potential assessment tools for evaluating child risk in the context of domestic violence, and identifying promising practices in VAW and CAS collaboration. The Learning Network team developed a survey for forum participants to gain an understanding of their perspectives on the status of VAW and CAS collaboration in their communities. This Learning Network Brief provides an overview and detailed description of the survey results. Click to view PlainText Version.
Kids Helping Kids: A Guide for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence.
Kareen Hudson (2005)
This guide is the second of a three-part series, "Helping Children Cope with Domestic Violence." It has been developed for children aged five through twelve by using children’s ideas, artwork and play when sharing their stories of living with domestic violence. The first section of the guide includes stories told by two children, Jordan and Thaylor. The next session discusses issues experienced by children exposed to domestic violence, including feelings of responsibility, expressing emotions, and safety planning. The final section provides children with information, resources, and support services that will help them deal with their experiences of domestic violence.
Kiskisik Awasisak: Remember the Children. Understanding the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child welfare system.
Vandna Sinha, Nico Trocme, Barbara Fallon, Bruce MacLaurin, Elizabeth Fast, Shelley Thomas Prokop, Tara Petti, Anna Kozlowski, Tara Black, Pamela Weightman, Marlyn Bennett, Jocelyn Formsma, Pierre Brascoupe, Stephanie O'Brien, Elsie Flette, Richard Gray, Linda Lucas, Shawn Hoey, Judy Levi, H. Monty Montgomery, & Kenn Richard (2011)
The Kiskisik Awasisak report provides a context for understanding the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child welfare system. This overrepresentation is positioned within the historical contextual background of institutionalized racism as well as the effects of historical violence, such as residential schools, the Indian Act, and other legacies of colonization. The resulting impacts have included the breakdown of family and community structures, intergenerational trauma, lack of opportunities for education and employment, and economic deprivation. These realities create vulnerabilities for children and their families, including increased risk for exposure to domestic violence.
Learning from a Survivor.
Click here for audio clips featuring a courageous woman sharing how her abusive partner used technology to continue to harass and abuse her after she separated from him. You will learn about the impacts experienced by her and her children, and some of the safety strategies she employed at home and at work.
List of Links to Resources on Children Exposed.
This list of online resources will be added to as new resources are developed or discovered. Some key resources that can be purchased online are included in a sub-list within the document.
Literature Review – A trauma-sensitive approach for children aged 0 – 8 years.
This review was written for early childhood educators who come into contact with infants and children who have experienced significant trauma in their lives. The review specifically focuses on family violence and how it can impact child development. Concepts around attachment, neurobiology and the impact of trauma on learning are discussed. The review also outlines emerging practices and programs that can help children exposed to trauma and provides a list of resources.
Little Eyes, Little Ears. How Violence Against a Mother Shapes Children as they Grow.
Alison Cunningham & Linda Baker (2007)
This resource helps professionals and volunteers understand how woman abuse can impact a child's development. This resource addresses the feelings and thoughts children may have about the violence, roles and coping strategies children may adopt for survival, and how children at different developmental stages may experience violence against their mothers. The goal of this resource is to understand how children experience violence against their mothers and how, by taking into account important contextual features of their family life, one can devise a plan to effectively intervene and support these children.
OACAS Woman Abuse and Intersection with CAS.
Ruth Harper, the Provincial Trainer for the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS), discusses a new training initiative provided by the OACAS that focuses on woman abuse and how it intersects with child protection issues. The training is directed to child welfare staff across the province of Ontario. Ruth discusses the context of the training including engaging men who use abusive behaviours in their intimate relationships; the impact of the training initiative, feedback received, advice on providing and implementing training initiatives, and the sustainability of the OACAS initiative.
Online Training Initiative to Address Human Trafficking.
In consultation with subject area experts, service providers, government staff, police and survivors of human trafficking, Multilingual Community Interpreter Services (MCIS) has developed online training and related resources for service providers who support human trafficking victims in Ontario. The training and related resources include: an overview of human trafficking in Canada and Ontario; information on the dynamics of human trafficking; human trafficking indicators; service needs of trafficked persons; unique needs of Aboriginal and Francophone clients; and information on first response, medium and long-term support. The training is also available in French.
Parenting Interventions for Men who Batter
This 2012 applied Research paper provides an overview of the research on the commonalities and controversies surrounding parenting interventions programs for men who batter with an emphasis on improving outcomes for women and child survivors of domestic violence.
Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Vision for Connecting the Dots
This 2016 publication from the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reviews the important connections between child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, elder abuse, and suicidal behaviour. This report outlines a 5 year vision to prevent violence through understanding and addressing the interconnections among these aforementioned forms.
Promoting Resilience in Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence Through a Developmentally Informed Intervention: A Case Study
This 2014 case study considers the treatment of Alexis, a 6-year-old, African American girl who was referred for services following exposure to IPV. At her initial intake, she not only showed evidence of posttraumatic stress but also exhibited characteristics of resilient functioning. Over the course of a 10-session group intervention, Alexis’s resilient functioning improved, according to both therapist and maternal report. At follow-up, her posttraumatic stress symptoms were below the clinical range, indicating improvement in psychopathology paralleling her increases in resilient functioning. This case lends support for the use of group interventions with young children exposed to violence and also emphasizes the importance of assessing multiple domains of functioning, including resilient behaviors.
Recognizing when a child’s injury or illness is caused by abuse.
This guide developed by the U.S. Department of Justice helps first responders and investigators recognize when a child’s injury or illness is caused by accident or from child maltreatment. The guide includes the most current literature on how to differentiate between accidental and abusive injuries and questions that investigators must ask. Chapters include understanding how injuries could be a product of abuse; caretaker assessment; injury assessment; constructing a timeline; examining skin injuries, fractures, head and eye injuries, and abdominal injuries; working with the medical community; preparing and presenting medical evidence for trial; and other available resources.
Safety Planning with Children and Youth: A Toolkit for Working with Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence.
This toolkit was developed the BC Society of Transition Houses in partnership with the Ending Violence Association of BC for the Ministry of Justice British Columbia. The purpose of the toolkit is to assist support workers with developing individualized safety plans for children and youth and providing information for mothers/caregivers and children/youth exposed to, experiencing and/or fleeing from domestic violence. The toolkit is comprised of four sections: 1) steps to follow when safety planning with children and youth; 2) developmentally appropriate child and youth safety planning; 3) practice tips for safety planning with children and youth in specific situations; and 4) additional factors to consider when safety planning with children and youth.
There are five corresponding instructional videos on how to safety plan with children and youth at each developmental level (Years 3 to 5; 6 to 11; 12 to 14; 15 to 18; and Testifying in Court).
Step By Step Engaging Fathers in Programs for Families.
Best Start Resource Centre (2012). Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This user friendly manual details how to plan and implement a strategy for engaging fathers. The content is relevant to those designing or delivering universal programs for fathers, services for fathers at transition points, services for fathers facing stressors, or services for unique issues (e.g., domestic violence). Specifically, the manual provides information on the factors that influence father involvement, the impact fathers have, the diversity of fathers, how fathers relate to their children, assessing father-friendliness, potential strategies for involving fathers, marketing to men, signs of success, and key issues. Each topic provides ideas from fathers and service providers and snapshots of effective programs. A list of resources are included. It is available in English and French.
Strengthening Policies to Support Children, Youth and Families who Experience Trauma.
National Centre for Children in Poverty. Columbia University (2007).
This report documents critical considerations in strengthening policies to support trauma-informed practice. It reviews current policies and practices to support children, youth, and families exposed to trauma. A range of strategies were used to gather the information, including an extensive literature review, a meeting of policy and practice experts, and several case studies.
The Impact of Partner Abuse on Children and Youth: A Review of Civilian and Military Research
This 2011 literature review investigates the impact of partner abuse on children and youth, and identifies prevention and intervention approaches that may be useful in addressing these harms. A particular focus is on military families. Sections include: definitional complexities; theoretical explanations; epidemiology of partner abuse in the military; epidemiology of child and youth exposure to partner abuse; physiological and health impacts; internalizing and externalizing behaviors; social competence, peer relationship, and intergenerational transmission of abuse; posttraumatic stress disorder and other manifestations of trauma; protective factors and processes; risk factors and processes; methodological problems in the published literature; prevention of partner abuse; interventions to decrease impact; treatment programs targeted at partner abusers; parenting skills and abilities; and adaptation. The report concludes with recommendations for further research.
The Intergenerational Transmission of Intimate Partner Violence
This 2010 report focuses on the intergenerational transmission of intimate partner violence. Not everyone who witnesses violence in the home while growing up will become a perpetrator or a victim. This report examines the factors that make it more likely that these children will become either victims or perpetrators.
Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma.
This website, developed by the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S., shares a new video series “Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma” that underscores the significant impact of children’s exposure to violence and victimization, outlines effective strategies to protect children and alleviate the harm of exposure, and stresses that everyone has a role to play in supporting these children. The series includes a public awareness video and three topic-specific videos – Treatments That Work, The Child Advocacy Center Model, and Community-Based Approaches. More videos are being developed and will be made available on the website.
Transition Homes in Canada: National, Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets 2009/2010.
Adam Cotter & Marta Burczycka (2011).
As part of the Federal Family Violence Initiative, Statistics Canada conducts the Transition Home Survey (THS) every two years. The THS gathers information from all residential facilities in Canada that offer services for abused women seeking shelter in order to measure the availability and use of such facilities and to better understand the needs of the clientele they are serving. In 2009/2010, 593 shelters were contacted. Respondents were asked to supply information on the characteristics of the facilities (e.g. bed capacity, number of annual admissions) and the types of services provided during the previous 12 months (April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010). Additionally, respondents were asked to provide information on the women and children residing in the shelter on snapshot day (April 15, 2010).
Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: The Role of Parent Emotion Socialization and Children’s Emotion Regulation Abilities
This 2015 article explores maternal emotion socialization and children’s emotion regulation as a pathway that may protect IPV-exposed children from developing post-traumatic stress symptoms and depression. Implications for prevention and intervention with high-risk families are discussed. This is an abstract only. You can access the full article through the library, society membership, or by online purchase.
Understanding the Effects of Domestic Violence: A Handbook for Early Childhood Educators.
Linda Baker, P.G. Jaffe & Kathy Moore
This user-friendly resource helps Early Childhood Educators learn to identify and support children exposed to domestic violence. Topics include implications for the childcare setting, safety planning, reporting, and accessing community support.
Understanding the Signs of Emotional Abuse.
This webpage provides a user-friendly, overview of what emotional abuse is, the signs that may indicate someone is experiencing emotional abuse, its impacts, and how to get help. Links to over 25 resources are available to further understanding of emotional abuse.
Walking the Path Together: Phase I.
Eagle Feather Workers based in five on-reserve women's shelters in Alberta provide one-on-one support to First Nations children who have lived with violence. By working with the child’s family, school and community supports, and emphasizing cultural teachings, the Eagle Feather Workers aspire to: make the environment of the child safe; help the family heal; and make room for the possibility of a violence-free future for that child. Children should be allowed to be children: they need to laugh, love and play. This inspires Walking the Path Together.
The Guide: Walk Proud, Dance Proud: Footprints on a Healing Journey
Walking the Path Together Tools: Appreciative Inquiry
Walking the Path Together Tools: Danger Assessment
Phase I Evaluation Report
Social Return on Investment Case Study
Woman Abuse Affects Our Children.
Developed by Springtide Resources and Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, this program offers a variety of resources for educators regarding woman abuse and the impact on children. Video and print resources are available online.
Video and Print Resources
Woman Abuse Affects our Children: An Educator’s Guide.
Linda Baker & Peter Jaffe (2007)
An English Language Expert Panel for Educators was established to develop training, resources and an implementation plan designed for Ontario elementary school teachers, principals and counsellors. The Woman Abuse Affects our Children guide helps educators recognize and support children who may be experiencing violence in their home. Information, strategies, and/or guidelines for responding to disclosures, supporting difficult behaviours in the classroom, reporting to CAS, promoting safety, knowing community resources, and contributing to school-based violence prevention.
Video and Print Resources
Working with Children Towards a Healthy & Non-Violent Future
This 2008 Special Collection published by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence provides a unique perspective on working with children (younger than 13 years of age), focusing on theories and strategies for raising respectful, non-violent people. Resources included here discuss child development and how to utilize this knowledge when implementing primary prevention strategies that foster healthy attitudes and behaviors. Acknowledging the reality that many of the children with whom we work may already have been victimized or exposed to violence, the collection includes tools to support secondary prevention efforts that teach skills to enhance safety. Central to this collection is the belief that advocates working to end violence against women are committed to the safety and well being of all children, and wish to create social change by investing in the potential that children offer – the promise of a new generation of non-violent, respectful young people and adults who resist traditional social norms that perpetuate violence against women.