Emerging Responses to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
A 2008 national survey of 4,549 children ages birth to 17 found that 16.3 percent of these children were exposed to domestic violence (DV) since birth. Among older children (ages 14-17 years), 27 percent reported exposure to DV in their lifetime. Public attention to the effects of children's exposure to adult DV has increased in recent years. This interest focuses on both the impact of exposure on children's development and on the likelihood that exposed children may be at greater risk for becoming either a child victim of physical or sexual abuse or an adult perpetrator of DV. New research, policies, and programs focused on these children have emerged as a result. In this paper, the author reviews these new efforts and makes the argument that the diversity of children's experiences requires equally diverse responses from our communities.