A study of 3,400 shelter residents in domestic violence programs across eight states found that more than three in four survivors (78 percent) reported that they had children under the age of 18, and 68 percent had minor children with them at the shelter (Lyon, Lane & Menard, 2008).
In just one day in 2011, domestic violence programs across the country served 25,871 children (NNEDV, 2012).
- 19,613 children found refuge in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program
- 6,258 received non-residential services, including children’s support or advocacy, counseling and childcare, among others
Meeting Survivors Needs through Non-residential Domestic Violence Services and Supports: Results of a Multi-State Study revealed that shelter residents were looking for at least 10 types of services related to children, with over 60% of study participants identifying an interest in at least one child-related service. These findings highlight the importance of considering services which address the needs of all members of a family experiencing domestic violence.
Domestic violence programs can help children and youth heal by creating supportive, safe, and stable environments that provide opportunities for counseling and creative expression, guidance in planning for safety and navigating legal protection options, and other resources to support a healthy and happy family. This section includes research and best practices concerning children at domestic violence shelters.
Promising Futures: Best Practices for Serving Children, Youth, and Parents Experiencing Domestic Violence
This online resource developed by Futures Without Violence provides a multi-faceted set of tools to transform or enhance your program’s ability to effectively meet the needs of women, children and youth experiencing domestic violence.
A guide for practice when responding to children exposed to domestic violence
This Guide, a companion to the Honor Our Voices online training, aims to elevate children’s voices so that they may be better heard and responded to by shelter advocates, domestic violence service staff, child protection workers, and the general public.