One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
What this means is that there can be many more children who witness, experience and in some cases perpetrate this violence.
Teachers, guidance counselors, and school administrators are in a unique position to observe, guide and influence children's learning experiences and perceptions of the world around them. For children experiencing or witnessing domestic violence, home is not a safe place. Behaviors among children witnessing or experiencing domestic violence can vary, and for many there can be no outward signs. Some children, however, may act out the stress and fear they experience at home.
Behavioral signs of violence in the home may come out as oppositional, anxious, bullying or people pleasing. Teenagers may also experience battering in a dating relationship. At the very least, children and teens are often compromised in their ability to fully experience school life.
Educators can raise their knowledge, awareness and skill in assessing and screening for domestic violence by developing educational partnerships with their local domestic violence program. This can include opportunities to:
- Request professional training on working with children exposed to domestic violence, teen dating violence and other topics.
- Locate state and local resources for victims of domestic violence.
- Contact our Legal Department at 888-235-3425 for information about family law and domestic violence law. (This is not a helpline for victims.)
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Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A Teacher's Handbook to Increase Understanding and Improve Community Responses by Linda Baker et al., Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System, 2002.
Break the Cycle is a leading non-profit that works with youth, educators, service providers, and lawmakers to prevent and end dating violence. This national organization develops and operates programs designed to ensure that no young person is excluded from receiving the help, tools and information they need to live free from violence.
Cabrini College Children As Witness Project Educators should be aware that their students may be living with domestic violence. This project provides information about how to recognize and help these students.
Center for Safe Schools seeks creative and effective solutions to problems that disrupt the educational process and affect school safety. Training, technical assistance, and a clearinghouse of video and print materials are available through the Center to help schools identify and implement effective programs and practices. The Center also maintains a database of resources available to assist school districts.
Lessons From Literature enlists English teachers to use the books and material they are already teaching to facilitate discussion and build awareness about physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Prompted by a growing public interest in and demand for programs that seek to prevent abuse, Lessons from Literature helps address this problem among youth in the classroom and beyond.
Give Respect! The RESPECT! Campaign is the Family Violence Prevention Fund's (FVPF) latest initiative to advance a national movement to promote healthy relationships through positive role modeling and respect education. By encouraging individuals everywhere to be part of the solution, the RESPECT! Campaign provides everyday tools and resources to help teach young people about respect in relationships. Through this campaign, the Family Violence Prevention Fund seeks to amplify a national conversation about the critical role that parents, teachers, coaches, and other living, breathing role models to young people have to play in helping all children shape a world that is free of relationship violence. This includes a resource for teachers,
Choose Respect is an initiative that helps teens form healthy relationships to prevent dating violence before it starts. This national effort helps parents, caregivers, older teens, educators, and other caring adults motivate teens to challenge harmful beliefs about dating violence and take steps to form healthy and respectful relationships.
Dating Matters is a 60-minute, interactive training designed to help educators, youth-serving organizations, and others working with teens understand the risk factors and warning signs associated with teen dating violence.
Coaching Boys Into Men recognizes that athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men, often serving as a parent or mentor to the boys they coach. Because of these special relationships, coaches are poised to positively influence how young men think and behave both on, and off, the field. From speeches to the team, practice sessions, or casual conversation, coaches have many opportunities to impart their philosophies to athletes. The Coaches Leadership Program equips coaches to talk with their athletes about respect for women and girls and that violence doesn't equal strength.