• May 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 4

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Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Children

The impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on children in the home varies and often depends on a number of factors, including a child's age, gender, relationship with the victim and perpetrator, and other internal and external characteristics. Defined as physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse, IPV can manifest in many forms, and children, even siblings residing in the same home, can experience instances of IPV very differently. Additionally, children that witness IPV in the home are more likely than their peers to become victims of child abuse themselves (35 percent vs. 5 percent, according to the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect).

To raise awareness of IPV and the broad and often long-lasting effects it can have on children, and in order to help professionals, advocates, and community members identify and address the needs of these children, Family and Children's Trust Fund of Virginia (FACT) developed an issue brief that presents an overview of IPV and research findings on its impact on children in the home. Some of the questions answered and topics addressed include:

  • What is IPV?
  • What is the prevalence of IPV in Virginia?
  • IPV and child abuse
  • What is the impact of exposure to IPV on children in the home?
  • Finding evidence-based and promising practices
  • Why collaborate?

The Spotlight section recognizes national and Virginia-specific programs that have demonstrated success in the following areas:

  • Collocating domestic violence and child welfare services
  • Developing cross-system partnerships
  • Utilizing opportunities for cross-training

The brief concludes by providing IPV-related tips and advice for professionals, family members, advocates, and community members. Additional information such as training materials, assessment tools, and program resources are available in the supplemental toolkit available at http://www.fact.virginia.gov/ibtoolkit/.

Facing the Facts: Impact of Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence on Children in the Home, by R. T. Hjelm, is available on the FACT website at http://www.fact.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FACT-V-Issue-Brief_FINAL.pdf (297 KB).

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