#CEVchat: CEV in the Home

You’re Invited!

Please join us Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. ET as we take to Twitter to discuss domestic violence’s impact on children. In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re joining forces with VAWnet to discuss the prevalence and implications of children’s exposure to domestic violence and what parents, practitioners and family advocates can do to help.

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that 15.5 million children in the U.S. lived in families in which violence between partners occurred at least once in the previous year.  The study also found seven million children lived in families in which severe partner violence occurred.

To increase awareness, the Safe Start Center recently released a toolkit focused on children’s exposure to domestic violence.  The toolkit includes an easy to understand infographic, issue brief and tip sheets on CEV and how adults can help.

VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, is an online library supporting evidence-based, culturally-specific prevention and response to domestic and sexual violence. VAWnet’s collection of materials on Children Exposed to Domestic Violence review key research findings and offer promising practices.

We hope you’ll join us using #CEVchat to follow and participate in the conversation. Questions about how our Twitter chats work? Find instructions here or click on the Twitter Chats tab at the top of this page.

Register here: http://cevchat.eventbrite.com

Feedback? Questions?  Feel free to contact us at info@safestartcenter.org.

The impact of domestic violence on children’s health

As we continue the conversation this month we wanted to raise awareness about domestic violence as a health care issue contributing to a number of short and long-term mental and physical health problems. Futures Without Violence points out some of the health issues that exposure to domestic violence contributes to, including depression, sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, diabetes and even heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the monetary cost of domestic violence is also high, costing several billion dollars each year in the provision of direct medical and mental health care services.

For children exposed to domestic violence, one of the biggest risks is the threat of physical injury. In a domestic violence situation children are more likely to be abused by the adults in the home. In these situations children are also at higher risk for developing physical illnesses such as migraines, asthma and gastrointestinal problems. These health risks also don’t typically end during adolescence. In their adult years these same children are also much more prone to develop cancer and obesity, as well as the health problems mentioned above.

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New toolkit for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Life has been chaotic and scary for 8-year-old Tonya.

Her father has abused her mother for years, and Tonya never knows when things will get bad. Finally, a beating pushes Claire, Tonya’s mother, over the edge.

Claire waits for her husband to leave for his night job. Then, at nearly one o’clock in the morning, she gets Tonya out of bed. Without bothering to pack, the two race outside to a waiting cab, which takes them to the Inn Transition South, a women’s shelter and transitional housing site in Miami.

After arriving safely at the shelter, mother and daughter are exhausted and scared. Over the next few weeks, Claire settles in, but Tonya begins to change.

She wakes up with nightmares, and she won’t interact with the other children at the shelter. Claire worries that Tonya is blaming herself for the violence they have experienced. She longs to see her daughter’s beautiful smile again.

This scenario, one of a participant of a former Safe Start grantee program in Miami, is one of many examples of how exposure to domestic violence can harm a child. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that 15.5 million children in the U.S. lived in families in which violence between partners occurred at least once in the previous year and seven million children lived in families in which severe partner violence occurred.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

When one adult physically or emotionally abuses another in a household that contains children, the adult victim isn’t the only one who suffers.

In the room where the abuse is happening, or even down the hallway, a child who sees or hears the abuse is also at risk.

The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence found:

  • One in four children (26 percent) were exposed to at least one form of family violence during their lifetimes.
  • Sixty-eight percent of these youth who witnessed family violence, witnessed acts committed only by males, although assaults by mothers and other caregivers were also common.

And according to a Futures Without Violence fact sheet:

  • 15.5 million U.S. children live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
  • In a single day in 2007, 13,485 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing facility. Another 5,526 sought services at a non-residential program.
  • The UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children conservatively estimates that 275 million children worldwide are exposed to violence in the home.

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In Search Of: Domestic Violence Awareness Month bloggers!

We’re gearing up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and we’re once again looking for some new voices for our blog – your voices.

We’re looking for anyone with a story to tell, about domestic violence and children, to write a brief blog post. Parents, have you experienced domestic violence, and if so, how did it affect your children? What did you do about it? Practitioners, what have you experienced in relation to domestic violence and children or what tips do you have for others? Do you have a program for children who have been exposed to domestic violence? Tell us about it!

Please send your blog post – with your full name, contact information and a picture of yourself, if you have one – to info@safestartcenter.org. We will run guest posts through the entire month of October.

Before you get started, take a cruise around the blog or visit www.safestartcenter.org to see what we’re all about.

We look forward to reading your posts!

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