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What is CHILDHOOD Domestic Violence?

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I have recently become aware of a great organization, called the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, (CDV.org). CDV’s mission is: “To help those who experience domestic violence as children reach their full potential and break the cycle of violence”. Many women who are currently in domestic violence relationships were abused as children, or have children in their homes now.

The CDV and I have decided to work as a team to combat domestic violence from both angles, from the point of view of the child, and of the abused mother of those children. CDV.org will feature two of my articles on their website in the coming weeks. The following blog is written by Anna Radev, Program Director of the Childhood Domestic Violence Association:

Most people have heard the words domestic violence. Most know what it is, or at the very least, are aware that it exists.

When we say domestic violence, the words that most often come to mind are women, abuse, pain, and violence. But children rarely come to mind. In a recent survey, less than 10% of people queried thought of the children who live in homes where domestic violence occurs. However, children are present in more than half of domestic violence incidents and over 50% of the children who live in homes with violence are directly abused themselves.

Childhood domestic violence (CDV) is domestic violence when children are present. UNICEF calls it “one of the most damaging unaddressed human right violations in the world today.”

CDV has a profound adverse impact on children that we cannot afford to ignore, but that most people don’t even know about. It literally changes who they are, and the negative effects often last well into adulthood, wreaking havoc on their lives or preventing them from succeeding or achieving their goals. They’re 6 times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, 74 times more likely to commit a violent crime against another and 3 times more likely to repeat the cycle of violence as adults in their own relationships. But even among those who don’t become one of these statistics, according to a leading researchers, “it’s almost impossible for them to reach their full potential.” 

There is little public discussion about the impact on the children and adults who’ve experienced CDV. But if you experienced it as a child, you won’t forget. YOU’RE NOT ALONE. 5 million children experience CDV each year in the U.S. alone and more than 275 million experience it worldwide. It happens everywhere and it affects children of every nationality, religion, race and socioeconomic background all across the country and around the world. Researchers estimate that 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. experienced it as a child. 

Because children who experience CDV are three times more likely to repeat what they learned as adults, the cycle CAN NEVER END unless we attend to these children. This unique new category – CDV – for the first time focuses on this group, who traditionally have been overlooked and left to struggle in silence. 

The Childhood Domestic Violence Association framed this category and platform to shine the light on those impacted and validate their experience, building awareness, support, and truly scalable solutions to help them overcome the negative effects of their childhood experience and find a different path. Our ultimate goal is to help children and adults impacted by Childhood Domestic Violence reach their full potential and break the cycle.

We invite you to join us in this movement and be an Ambassador of Change in your local community. To learn more about Childhood Domestic Violence and how you can make a difference, visit www.cdv.org. To get involved, go directly to www.cdv.org/get-involved. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cdv) for the latest developments and updates in this realm. Be the One to help change a life – someone else’s…or your own.

 

This is Caroline again. I hope my readers will Like CDV on Facebook, and become involved in this great organization.

Let’s pray together.

 

Dear Lord, I pray for the millions of children who are currently living in violent homes. Lord, you know the horror these children experience every day. You have charged adults with protecting and loving these little ones. Help us to become aware of what these children are experiencing, and to be willing to STAND UP for them Lord, and not be passive. Give us your boldness, and take away our fear. For those adults who are also victims of domestic violence, I pray they will find the courage to seek help (see my blog on what to do if you are being abused), if not for their own sake, then for the sake of their children. In your name and for your sake, Amen.

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