Children and youth who are exposed to domestic violence experience emotional, mental, and social damage that can affect their developmental growth. Some children lose the ability to feel empathy for others. Others feel socially isolated, unable to make friends as easily due to social discomfort or confusion over what is acceptable. In order to respond to the overwhelming issues associated with domestic violence, child welfare professionals need to understand these issues and know how to identify them as well as assess and provide treatment to children and youth affected by domestic violence. This section provides information and resources on the impact that domestic violence has on children and youth as well as resources on how to respond it.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Response
University of Albany & Prevent Child Abuse America
Seeks to connect research data and its potential for real-world application to prevent adverse childhood experiences and their consequences through policy and program leadership, community development, and direct practice.
Behind Closed Doors: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children (PDF - 1750 KB)
Discusses the impact of domestic violence on children's physical, emotional, and social development both during childhood and later in life.
Boys Will Be Boys: Understanding the Impact of Child Maltreatment and Family Violence on the Sexual, Reproductive, and Parenting Behaviors of Young Men (PDF - 1680 KB)
Kahn & Paluzzi (2006)
Describes the long-term impact of child maltreatment and family violence on males, and discusses the roles of practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and educators in addressing these issues.
Children's Exposure to Domestic Violence: A Guide to Research and Resources (PDF - 1809 KB)
Designed to help judges and practitioners identify and understand the key issues surrounding children's exposure to domestic violence.
Consequences of Childhood Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence (PDF - 1210 KB)
Presents research findings on the consequences of exposure to intimate partner violence on children.
Domestic Violence Effects on Children: A Bibliography 2001-2010 (PDF - 225 KB)
National Children's Advocacy Center (2010)
Provides a selected listing of publications pertaining to the effects of domestic violence on children.
The Emotional Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
Explores the effects of domestic violence on both children and the family. Addresses attachment issues; the impact of trauma; and the impact of violence on mental, emotional, and intellectual development.
Honor Our Voices
Avon Foundation for Women, Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA), and Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) at the University of Minnesota
Presents an online learning module of practice guides and digital stories designed to increase the awareness and sensitivity of shelter advocates and other providers to the needs of children and suggests promising ways of enhancing services for children exposed to domestic violence.
Little Eyes, Little Ears: How Violence Against a Mother Shapes Children as They Grow (PDF - 380 KB)
Cunningham & Baker (2007)
Addresses how violence may be experienced by children of different ages, from infancy to adolescence.
The Medical and Developmental Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
Explains the effects of a chaotic and violent environment on the developing brain and suggests reasons why the cycle of violence is so hard for some victims to break.