This brief presents resources about children and adolescents who are exposed to violence as victims or as witnesses in homes, schools, and communities and strategies to prevent or mitigate the physical, psychological, emotional, and social effects. Please view the resource brief Reaching Out to Children and Youth Following Disasters for resources about helping children and adolescents cope with injury, loss, and other trauma caused by violence.
Care, Services, and Support
- View the Attorney General's Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence report Defending Childhood: Protect Heal Thrive (2012). This report presents an overview of the problem and recommendations
for screening, assessment, and support for children exposed to violence; information
about integrating prevention, intervention, and resilience across systems;
and a new approach
to juvenile justice.
- For statistics about child and adolescent exposure to violence and differences by age and gender as well as information about effective prevention and treatment programs, view the Child Trends data brief Children's Exposure to Violence (2013).
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Medical Home for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Violence. Tools for health professionals to identify, treat, and refer children and adolescents who have been exposed to or victimized by violence. Includes an overview of exposure to violence, its prevalence, and its impact; tools to address violence with parents, children, and adolescents; and webinars, presentation materials, and information about best practices and quality improvement.
- Center on the Developing Child. Reports, working papers, research briefs, and multimedia tools that translate and communicate the science of early childhood and early brain development to help inform policies that promote successful learning, adaptive behavior, and sound physical and mental health for all young children. Several resources address the impact that exposure to violence can have on development.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Violence Prevention. Summaries of research about the consequences of child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and youth violence.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Framework, questionnaires, major findings, data and statistics, and publications about one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and health and well-being later in life.
Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan. (2008). [Report]. Focuses on stress caused by child abuse, neglect, and children's repeated exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) between adults in their households.
Guide to Community Preventive Services. Violence Prevention: Reducing Psychological Harm from Traumatic Events Among Children and Adolescents. Task force recommendations and findings, presentations, a press release, and links to related resources.
Also view the publication series from the National Survey of Children Exposed to Violence, which was supported by CDC and the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway: Impact of Child Abuse and Neglect. Collection of resources about the impact of abuse and neglect on child development and the long-term health, social, and economic consequences of abuse and neglect on children, adolescents, adult survivors, and society.
Child Welfare Information Gateway Library. Information about close to 50,000 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, books, evaluation reports, grantee final reports, and program reports, related to all aspects of child welfare, including child maltreatment. View the Library Search Tips to inform your search.
- Child Witness to Violence Project (CWVP). Bibliographies and educational materials for professionals who work with children who have witnessed family and community violence and experienced traumatic grief. Includes information for parents and caregivers about understanding the problem, recognizing
the signs, and helping children.
- Futures Without Violence: Child Wellbeing. Program information and resources for improving services for children exposed to violence.
16 Trauma-Informed, Evidence-Based Recommendations for Advocates Working with
Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence. (2013).
Facts on Children's Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence. (2013).
Promising Futures: Best Practices for Serving Children, Youth, and Parents Experiencing
Domestic Violence. Best practices, evaluation tools, research-informed strategies, and other resources
for professionals and advocates to enhance their programming for children and their abused parents, and in particular, mitigate the negative effects of domestic abuse on children.
- Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA): MINCAVA Electronic Clearinghouse. Online library of violence resources including curricula, published research, funding sources, training tools, experts and organizations, and multimedia resources. Topics include child exposure to child abuse and child exposure to domestic violence.
Exposure to Domestic Violence (CEDV)
Scale. Tool and background
materials for professionals and researchers
to use with children and adolescents ages 10-16 exposed
Honor Our Voices: Children's Perspective of Domestic
Violence. Online learning module for social service professionals and domestic violence advocates about the needs of children and adolescents exposed to domestic violence. Includes a practice guide and downloadable audio clips that highlight promising practices through the voices of children and adolescents.
National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC): Youth Initiative. Tools to improve programs, policies, outreach, and services for adolescent victims of crime, particularly adolescents from underserved populations, such as ethnic minorities and adolescents with disabilities. Includes bulletins for
adolescents about how to recognize a crime, what emotions to expect,
and how to receive or give help. Also includes guides for schools, adolescent organizations,
victim service agencies, and other community groups about how to reach out to adolescents
and develop ways to make it safer for them to disclose their victimization.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health. Background reading, webinars, fact sheets, tips, conversation guides, model policies, and other tools for domestic violence advocates, mental health and substance abuse professionals, legal professionals, and policymakers as they work to improve agency- and systems-level responses to the traumatic effects of abuse on survivors and their children.
Helping Children and Teens Cope with the Effects of Domestic Violence:
Fostering Healing and Resilience. (2012). [Webinar].
Tips for Supporting Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence: What You Might See and What You Can Do. (2012).
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Resources for families, professionals, schools, and the media about child and adolescent traumatic stress and effective interventions. Includes training tools, information on the various types of trauma, fact sheets on empirically supported treatments for child traumatic stress, information on creating trauma-informed and culturally-competent child-serving systems, and facts and statistics about child traumatic stress. Also offers databases with information about resources, programs, projects, and experts on child traumatic stress; reviews of tools that measure children's experiences of trauma, their reactions to it, and other mental-health- and trauma-related issues; and resources specifically for and about military families and children. Some materials are available in Spanish.
for Victims of Crime: Children Exposed to Violence. Information about publications, initiatives, and services for those who work with children and adolescents who have been exposed to and/or experienced violence.
Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma. (2013). [Video clip, resource guide].
- Safe Start Center. Research and evaluation reports, service-delivery strategies, trauma-informed care tip sheets, information about evidence-based programs, and other tools for health and social services professionals, educators, and families to reduce the impact of children's and adolescents' exposure to violence. Some materials are available in Spanish.
- Bernard van Leer Foundation. 2012. Community
Violence and Young Children: Making Space for Hope. Early Childhood Matters:
119. [Journal issue].
- Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma. 2011. Women
and Trauma: Report of the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma—A
Federal Intergovernmental Partnership on Mental Health Transformation.
Washington, DC: Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). This report illustrates
the importance of listening to and incorporating the voices of people who
have been directly impacted by trauma and describes "trauma-informed care",
an approach that can be implemented in any setting and supports resilience,
self-care, and self-healing.
- Goldman Fraser J, Lloyd SW, Murphy RA, Crowson MM, Casanueva C, Zolotor
A, Coker-Schwimmer M, Letourneau K, Gilbert A, Swinson Evans T, Crotty K, Viswanathan
M. 2013. Child
Exposure to Trauma: Comparative Effectiveness of Interventions Addressing
Maltreatment. Rockville, MD: Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). [Research review].
- Jain S, Buka SL, Subramanian SV, Molnar BE. 2012. Protective
Factors for Youth Exposed to Violence: Role of Developmental Assets in Building
Emotional Resilience. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice: 10(107). [Journal
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 2011. Addressing
the Needs of Women and Girls: Developing Core Competencies for Mental Health
and Substance Abuse Service Professionals. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. [Report].
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA). 2011. Identifying
Mental Health and Substance Use Problems of Children and Adolescents: A Guide for Child-Serving Organizations. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Related MCH Library Resources
Children and Adolescents Exposed to Violence: Resource Brief. (June 2013). (June 2014).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Library.
Reviewers: Jennifer Allison, Ph.D., Children's Safety Network; Sally Fogerty, B.S.N., M.Ed., Children's Safety Network; Rebecca Hunt, M.P.A., Children's Safety Network; Shree Mohanty, M.A., M.S., R.D., L.D., Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Region V; Olivia Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Library; Morrisa B. Rice, M.H.A., R.E.H.S., R.S., HRSA Office of Women's Health; and Ellen Schmidt, B.S., M.S., O.T.R., Children's Safety Network.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Library.