domestic violence field has a long history of honoring the safety
of children who are exposed to domestic violence. Advocates have
led the way in our understanding of the inextricable link of mothers' safety
and child safety, and we all strive to ensure that children get
what they need to feel confident and secure in the world.
But how can we ensure that children have their basic needs met?
Have close friends and family relationships? Have access to recreation
and learning opportunities? There are several important and bold
steps advocates can take. First, we have to notice every child
and identify what that child needs. Not all needs will be the same,
as each child will have a set of unique experiences, their own
temperament and resiliency factors. However, most children will
need at least the following: access to basic needs, a sense of
security and predictability, a positive sense of themselves – including
cultural pride, the assurance that advocates will help them (and
their mothers) stay safe from harm, and the knowledge that the
violence, fighting and aftermath is not their fault.
I worry sometimes about the lone child advocate – I think we can
do better by building the capacity of the whole field and move
the conversation to a more holistic approach to serving children
(and their mothers). Using practice, wisdom, and research informed
interventions, creating sustainable referral networks for children,
building the capacity and skills of the whole staff, not just one
person, and developing policies to ensure that children's needs
are fully integrated into our programming is a good beginning.
Every child has a story- it's our job to help them tell it."
Violence and Children: Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence
A guide that addresses questions and their answers that advocates
and professionals in the DV field struggle with daily in working
with survivors of DV and their families. Raises awareness of children's
exposure to domestic violence in the short and long term and resiliency
factors. Assists in helping parents talk to their children about
the violence and the steps for beginning the recovery process.
Beyond Leaving: Helping Battered Women in Contact with Current
or Former Partners. A Guide for Domestic Violence Advocates
Family Violence Prevention Fund (2009)
This Guide provides information for advocates in a question and
answer format. Contents include practical suggestions to assist
advocates in conducting safety planning, the potential for changing
violent behavior, advocating safety training, and changing organizations
to better serve families.
Domestic Violence in Indian Country - Office of Violence Against
This manual examines the reasons behind domestic violence in Native
communities by looking at its historical origins and suggests ways
to address its occurrence. Contents include a framework for understanding,
advocacy role, Native men who use violence, domestic violence and
children, and community organizing.
Start Center Tip Sheet for Domestic Violence and Homeless shelters
working with children exposed to trauma and violence
the Promise of Home Visitation: Addressing Domestic Violence
and Child Maltreatment (A Guide for Policy Makers)
Family Violence Prevention Fund, Safe Start Center and Avon Foundation
This guide provides information about what works to promote safety
for mothers and their children in home visiting programs and resources
for developing policy initiatives. Topics include the relationship
between domestic violence and child maltreatment, promising programs,
national policy, current research, federal funding sources, and
practice and policy recommendations.
Exposed to Domestic Violence: An Early Childhood Educator's
Handbook to Increase Understanding and Improve Community Responses
Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System and Family
Violence Prevention Fund (2002)
This handbook provides information for front-line staff in childcare
and early childhood settings. Topics include the ways domestic
violence impacts infants and young children, strategies for challenging
behaviors, a pamphlet for families, and special contingencies when
families are in a shelter.
Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund
Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Health
Ms. Davis has been in the field of domestic violence
since 1982. Ms. Davis brings personal experience as a survivor
of domestic violence and almost 30 years of a demonstrated track
record on behalf of mothers and children. Prior positions include
working in two domestic violence programs (including start up of
a shelter's first children's program in 1987). She has worked in
a Boston based trauma clinic performing forensic evaluations of
children exposed to domestic violence, and provided supervision
to AWAKE advocates at Boston Children's Hospital. Ms. Davis also
worked for a decade at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services,
where she co-founded the first domestic violence program to address
child abuse. At Futures Without Violence, she has 10 years of experience
providing technical assistance to states and communities concerning
violence against women and child abuse. She has been in the forefront
of several national child welfare reform initiatives that sought
to integrate domestic violence, including the federal Greenbook
demonstration project, the Annie E. Casey Family to Family Initiative
and the Community Partnerships for the Protection of Children.
Ms. Davis has authored numerous articles and has received local,
state and national awards for her work.