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April 2000Vol. 1, No. 2Journal Examines Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

The Winter 1999 issue of The Future of Children, published by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, focuses on children who are exposed to domestic violence.

The editor, Richard E. Behrman, states that the purpose of this issue is "encouraging informed debate about domestic violence and children." The 10 articles in this issue analyze the current research regarding the prevalence and effects of child exposure to domestic violence (defined here as violence between adult intimate partners) and other forms of violence, describe legislative and service system responses to families struggling with domestic violence, and suggest strategies for improving intervention and prevention programs.

In the article entitled "Analysis and Recommendations," the authors synthesize the literature on child exposure to domestic violence and note the need for new research and improvements in interventions. Their position is that exposure of children to domestic violence can have significant negative effects on their emotional, social, and cognitive development. Their list of recommendations include:

  • New research
  • Stable public funding sources
  • New strategies for identifying and serving children that do not have access to services through traditional avenues
  • Clear protocols for service providers to intervene with families in which both domestic violence and child maltreatment are present
  • Ongoing training for professionals regarding domestic violence and its impact on children
  • Protection by courts and affordable legal counsel for battered women and their children
  • Court consideration of domestic violence in child custody and visitation cases
  • Awareness of unintended negative consequences of new legislation to address effects of childhood exposure to domestic violence
  • Ongoing public support for effective domestic violence prevention programs

An executive summary and the complete edition of Domestic Violence and Children are available online at

To order a free print copy, contact the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Circulation Department, 300 Second Street, Suite 102, Los Altos, CA 94022, phone: 650-948-7658, fax: 650-948-6498, Email: