24 hour emergency assistance to child victims of domestic violence.
24 hour crisis line.
Specialized intake procedures for children to identify medical, educational, or developmental needs.
Age appropriate support groups for children.
Information and referral.
Addressing the Needs of the "Silent Victims" of Domestic Violence
In homes where domestic violence
occurs, children are at high risk of suffering physical abuse
themselves. Regardless of whether children are physically abused,
the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to
the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child
abuse. Each year, an estimated minimum of 3.3 million children
witness domestic violence.
The entire community feels the negative effects of
domestic violence on children. Children from violent homes have
higher risks of alcohol/drug abuse and juvenile delinquency. Today's
child growing up in a violent home may be tomorrow's prison inmate.
A great majority of violent criminals were raised in abusive homes.
Consider the following facts:
than half of the children whose mothers are battered are likely to
be physically abused themselves.
or not the children are physically abused, they often suffer
emotional and psychological trauma from living in homes where their
parents' abuse each other.
may pass from generation to generation. Most experts believe
that children who are raised in abusive homes learn that violence is
an effective way to resolve conflicts and problems.
Family violence is a widespread problem in
our society. It cuts across all racial, ethnic, religious,
educational, economic and sexual orientation backgrounds.
How can I tell if a child may be living in a violent home?
Unusual or unexplained injuries,
chronic illness, headaches, or stomach aches.
Signs of neglect, such as poor
hygiene or dirty clothing.
Withdrawal (for example, playing
alone and having no friends).
Use of violence to solve
Trouble falling or staying asleep,
or sleeping during school.
Flashbacks or nightmares.
Difficulty expressing emotions
other than anger.
School problems, including lengthy
Acting overly responsible (as if
they are “the adult” of the family.
Tips for working with and caring for a child from a violent home:
Set clear limits and be consistent in how you reward success
and how you deal with misbehavior.
Be honest, let the child know what you can and can't do to
help and don't make promises that you can't keep.
Help reduce stress, create a calm, safe environment.
Encourage play, help a child break free from the isolation,
provide lots of opportunities for play, especially with other
Promote healthy self-expression, teach the child to express
feelings through talking, writing, drawing, and music, not violence.
Teach self-control, help the child stay in control when angry
of frustrated (by counting to 20, taking a time out, etc.).
Build self-esteem, encourage the child to believe that he or
she is worthy of love, not abuse.
Tell the child often that he or she is not responsible for
violence at home.