3Why This Training is Important! Researchers and practitioners have noted an overlap between domestic violence and child abuse.Productive collaborations among child welfare agencies, domestic violence programs, and the community exist in only a few communities.Practical responses by child welfare agencies, domestic violence programs, and the community need to be developed.
4After This Training Participants Will: Define Child Abuse, Child Neglect, and Child Sexual AbuseDescribe the Power and Control Dynamics of Domestic Violence that may increase the risk of Child MaltreatmentIdentify Short and Long-Term Consequences of Exposure to Domestic Violence for Children
5After This Training Participants Will: Identify Barriers to/ Characteristics Supportive of Intervention in Rural CommunitiesDefine a Coordinated Community ResponseDescribe the Key Elements and Goals of an Effective CCRIdentify Coordinated Community Response Partners
6Program UnitsUnit 1: Recognizing How and When Family Violence Threatens ChildrenUnit 2: Rural Communities: Challenges and StrengthsUnit 3: The Coordinated Community Response
7Recognizing How and When Family Violence Threatens Children Unit 1Recognizing How and When Family Violence Threatens Children
8Overview of the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Efforts to protect children from abuse and neglect often overlook one of the most important factors affecting children's safety in the home: adult domestic violence.Child abuse and domestic violence often occur in the same family and are linked in a number of important ways that may have serious consequences for the safety of children.
9Overview continuedFirst, domestic violence may directly result in physical injury and/or psychological harm to children.Second, it may interfere with the parenting a child receives.
10Overview continued Successful intervention in child abuse relies on: Addressing domestic violence in the homeHolding the perpetrator accountableProtecting the survivor
11“The Children are Watching” The video shows children talking about their experiences and reactions to domestic violence in their homes.It is a very powerful video and may be hard for some people to watch.It is okay to leave the room if the video becomes too hard to watch.
12741.28(2), Florida Statutes“Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
13741.28(3), Florida Statutes“Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
14Domestic Violence IsA pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors intended to establish the batterer’s power and control over the survivor. These behaviors are exhibited over time and across different situations and circumstances, and are not just observed in isolated incidents.
15Child Abuse Is, at a Minimum: Any recent act or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; orAn act or failure to act, which presents a serious risk of imminent harm.
16Physical AbusePhysical Abuse is the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child.
17Child NeglectChild Neglect is characterized by failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional.
18Sexual AbuseFondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
19Emotional AbuseActs or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders.
20How Does Florida Define Abuse? “Abuse” means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions.39.01(2), Florida Statutes
21HarmHarm can occur when any person inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional injury.In determining whether harm has occurred, the following factors must be considered:the age of the child;any prior history of injuries to the child;the location of the injury on the body of the child;the multiplicity of the injury;and the type of trauma inflicted.
22HarmLeaving a child without adult supervision or arrangement appropriate for the child’s age or mental or physical condition…;Neglecting the child…failing to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or health care, although financially able to do so or although offered financial or other means to do so;
23Harm Exposing the child to a controlled substance or alcohol; Engaging in violent behavior that demonstrates a wanton disregard for the presence of a child and could reasonably result in serious injury to the child; andNegligently failing to protect a child in his or her care from inflicted physical, mental, or sexual injury caused by another.
24Power and Control Dynamics of Domestic Violence Child abuse, and/or the imminent threat of child abuse is used by batterers to maintain control in an intimate relationship.
25How Does Battering the Mother Have Direct Consequences for the Child’s Well Being? A battered woman’s physical injuries can prevent her from taking adequate care of the children;Trauma-related problems such as depression and anxiety may interfere with activities of daily living, which, for mothers, are primarily related to caring for the children;
26How Does Battering the Mother Have Direct Consequences for the Child’s Well Being? Some studies have found rates of substance abuse to be higher for adults experiencing domestic violence in their homes than for adults who are not experiencing domestic violence. Women may “self-medicate” in order to survive the physical and emotional pain.
27Characteristics of Batterers that Increase the Risk of Child Abuse and Neglect Control:Overrule her parenting decisions/undermine her authority;Cause or forbid her to terminate a pregnancy;Assault her when he’s angry at the children’s behavior;Entitlement:Become angry and abuse the children when he feels she’s paying more attention to them;Require the kids to pay more attention to his needs than theirs for fear of the consequences;
28Characteristics Continued Possessiveness:Seek custody of the children;Think, “The children are mine, so I can do what I want with them.”
29Characteristic-related Behaviors The batterer is often so focused on controlling his partner that he neglects the children.Batterers, as a result of their selfishness, have difficulty focusing on their children’s needs.A batterer often controls the battered woman’s access to money and transportation, severely limiting her ability to seek medical attention for sick and/or injured children.
30More BehaviorsBatterers threaten to report the battered woman to Child Protective Services for child abuse regarding injuries the batterer has inflicted on the child.Batterers may also be severely controlling of the children, and are likely to use a harsh, rigid disciplinary style.
31MoreBatterers tend to be verbally abusive parents, claiming the children’s bad behavior is the reason for assaults on the non-offending parent.Batterers use children as weapons against the mother, and often threaten to take custody of the children, harm them, or abduct them if the mother leaves.
32MoreDespite the myth that courts always award mothers custody, several studies have found that courts award custody to fathers approximately 70% of the time in contested custody cases.
33Short-term Consequences for Children of Recent Exposure to DV Approximately 100 published studies report associations between exposure to domestic violence and current child problems or later adult problems.About 1/3 of these studies have separated exposed children from those who were directly abused.
34Behavioral & Emotional Problems Aggressive and antisocial behaviorsFearful and inhibited behaviorsAn increase in physical complaints
35Behavioral & Emotional Problems Lower social competence; e.g., fewer age-appropriate skills to initiate and sustain relationships, to seek assistance from others, and to satisfy personal needsHigher average anxiety and depressionMore trauma symptomsTemperament problems
36Cognitive & Attitudinal Problems A lowered capacity for paying attentionPoorer concentration skillsPoorer understanding of social situationsBoys exposed to domestic violence are more likely to believe that “acting aggressively enhances ones reputation or self-image”…holding this belief makes them more likely to become violent offendersBoys exposed to DV are significantly more likely to approve of violence than girls so exposed
37The Link Between DV and Child Abuse In approximately 50% of the homes in which the mother is being battered, the children are also being physically abused by the batterer.The risk of sexual abuse by the batterer to female children is 6 times the risk to girls in non-violent homes.Children are at greater risk of being abused by the batterer as a method of retaliation against the mother when separation has occurred or is imminent.
38The Link Between DV and Child Abuse Most families involved in child fatalities were two-person caretaker situations in which the majority of the perpetrators were the father of the child or the mother’s boyfriend.Domestic violence was found in 41 percent of the families experiencing critical injuries or deaths of children due to child abuse and neglect.
39The Link Between DV and Child Abuse Some victims of domestic violence are so fearful of the abusive partner focusing his anger on the children that they over-discipline them in an effort to control the children’s behavior and thus protect them from abuse by the batterer.
40Long-term Problems for Adults Exposed and/or Victimized Exposure to violence as a child is associated with adult reports of depression, trauma-related symptoms and low self-esteem among women, and trauma-related symptoms among men.One study found that women who witnessed domestic violence as a child experienced greater distress and lower social adjustment when compared to non-exposed adults.
41Long-term Problems for Adults Exposed and/or Victimized Many studies have found an increased risk of substance abuse among adults exposed to domestic violence as a child and/or abused as children.Being abused as a child substantially increases the risk of re-victimization in adulthood.
42Long-term Problems for Adults Exposed and/or Victimized In one study, being abused or neglected as a child increased the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59 percent, as an adult by 28 percent, and for a violent crime by 30 percent.
44Rural AmericaStereotypes about rural life, like all stereotypes, are inaccurate and correspond to our perceptions and biases rather than reality.Each rural community in America is unique.Popular images of rural America mask the great diversity of rural communities.
45Some Characteristics of Rural Communities Widely shared cultural values, including strong allegiances to:The landExtended family relationships and other kinship tiesTraditional gender rolesTraditional religious values
46Some Characteristics of Rural Communities Mistrust of outsidersFear of government intervention in local issues and their personal livesIntimate social climate/lack of anonymity or privacy
47Some Characteristics of Rural Communities Geographic isolation and poverty, which limit access to the following:Public Transportation SystemsHealth Care ProvidersHealth InsuranceJob opportunities and a living wageAdequate Child Care FacilitiesAdvanced Education
48Rural Barriers to Intervention The batterer and extended family members may be the woman’s only social contacts.Social outlets may be limited to bars and churches; women have few opportunities to establish friendships on their own.There may be no telephone in the home.
49Rural Barriers to Intervention The nearest domestic violence center may be counties away.Without the abuser, the woman may have no way to get to the grocery store, take herself or the children to health care appointments, or social service offices.Leaving the abuser may mean having to leave the community altogether.
50Rural Barriers to Intervention Adherence to traditional religious values may make it socially difficult to leave or divorce the abuser; divorce may be thought of as morally unacceptable.“Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Physical discipline of children may be viewed as justified by Scripture and acceptable.For some, traditional Christian values may also include the belief that the wife is to be subservient to her husband.
51Rural Barriers to Intervention Law enforcement officers may have insufficient training on domestic violence issues.Officers may view domestic violence as a family matter rather than a crime.Responding officers may know the offender personally and be reluctant to arrest or investigate as necessary for prosecution.Response times in vast rural areas are often longer, perhaps 30 minutes to an hour
52Rural Barriers to Intervention Guns and other weapons are commonly found in rural homes, which correlates with an increased risk of death for women and children upon leaving.Some victims may not speak English, and the limited services provided in the community are not provided in languages other than English.
53Strengths of Rural Communities Some aspects of rural life that work against battered women and children in one community may work to their benefit in others.
54Strengths of Rural Communities The “collective conscience” of a community can be in favor of the woman, ostracizing and shaming the abuser for his behavior.Community members may be more willing to help people they are related to or know personally.Care of children may be seen as a community responsibility.
55Strengths of Rural Communities The extensive social support networks typical of rural communities can provide very personal assistance and relief.Because service agencies in rural communities have scarce resources, they often build coalitions with one another, making comprehensive service delivery easier.
56Strengths of Rural Communities Rural residents often have greater access to their legislators, making it easier to change laws regarding domestic violence, and reducing the distrust of government intervention.If the cause of domestic violence is taken up by an agency, church group, or prominent local official, high visibility and public education is possible.
58What Is a Coordinated Community Response? A coordinated community response to the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment involves:Looking carefully at the strengths and needs of the entire family;Developing a system response to protect the child and the abused parent; andTurning what has been viewed as a private family matter into an issue of community concern and community responsibility.
59Key Elements of a Coordinated Community Response AwarenessUnderstandingMotivationToolsCommunity Partnerships
60AwarenessOf the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse, and the impact of these crimes, on individuals and on the community, across the lifespan
61UnderstandingHow the power and control dynamics of domestic violence facilitate child abuse and neglect
62MotivationA strong desire to intervene in an effective and coordinated way
63Tools Training Protocols Interagency agreements Formal partnerships between Child Protective Services and domestic violence advocatesUsing the local domestic violence task force to address domestic violence and child abuse as interrelated issues
64Community Partnerships Enlisting the community to respond to domestic violence and child abuse by adopting and funding prevention and intervention efforts that use the resources of neighbors, friends, churches, schools and other non-traditional supports for families
65Community Responses to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Should Enhance safety;
66Community Responses to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Should Foster the emotional well-being of battered women and children, including supporting the parenting of the non-offending parent;
67Community Responses to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Should Hold perpetrators accountable through legal sanctions and batterers’ programs;
68Community Responses to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Should Provide a continuum of coordinated services that are accessible regardless of a client’s language and culture; and
69Community Responses to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Should Promote prevention efforts as long-term strategies for social change.
71A Coordinated Community Response Includes: Civil and Criminal Court JudgesHealth Care ProvidersBatterer’s Intervention ProgramsSupervised Visitation ProgramsLocal Churches and PastorsCommunity Social Service Agencies
72The Benefits of a Coordinated Community Response An increase in the early identification of, and intervention with, vulnerable children and their battered mothers;A reduction in the risks of re-traumatization of children and mothers by intervening systems;Enhanced evidence collection;
73The Benefits of a Coordinated Community Response Increased perpetrator accountability, which supports intervention and prevention efforts; andA reduced risk that victims and their children, or perpetrators, will fall through the cracks within the community intervention network.