Too many children have been exposed to crime, abuse, and violence in their homes, schools, and communities. These experiences can lead to serious, long-term problems.
Early identification, intervention, and treatment are key. The Federal Government has a responsibility to act, but our efforts cannot succeed without local law enforcement, child and family services, community leaders, educators, coaches, and parents. Everyone plays a role in identifying, protecting, and treating children exposed to violence.
The videos in this series compel all of us to join our neighbors and the growing ranks of professionals who have made it their life’s work to help traumatized children heal and thrive.
Violence and trauma can have serious and long-lasting consequences for children’s physical and mental health, and the cost to families, communities, and the Nation is staggering. Victims lend their voices to this video to provide first-hand accounts of how their exposure to violence as children affected them.
Treatments That Work
Children’s exposure to violence can be manifested in many ways, including substance abuse and mental health and behavioral problems. These symptoms are increasingly severe among children who experience multiple forms of victimization. This video features some of the evidence-based treatment strategies for children and families that researchers and experts consider effective.
The Child Advocacy Center Model
The Child Advocacy Center Model brings together representatives from many disciplines, including law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, medical, mental health, and victim advocacy, to provide comprehensive services to children exposed to violence. This video shows how Child Advocacy Center multidisciplinary teams work collaboratively to make decisions about the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases; the protection and treatment of child victims; and supporting children and their families through the criminal justice process.
Community- and faith-based programs, services, and agencies play an important role in protecting and responding to children affected by violence and trauma. This video features three programs that exemplify successful community-based approaches to serving these children. However, because every community is different, service providers and allied professionals should tailor their responses to most effectively meet their community’s particular needs.
Addressing Violence in the Home
The physical, psychological, and emotional consequences for children exposed to violence in their homes can be especially severe. Early intervention is critical to help these children heal. This video features three programs that are working to provide a coordinated, comprehensive response to these victims and their families.
Interventions in Schools
Exposure to violence can impede a child’s ability to learn and thrive in school. Teachers, coaches, and other school staff and volunteers can play a critical role in recognizing and reporting signs of violence and trauma in a child’s life. This video identifies some types of violence that children may experience at school or on their way to or from school, and highlights preventative measures that some schools are taking to protect their students.
Innovations in Juvenile Justice
Many of the behaviors that lead to children’s and adolescents’ involvement in the juvenile justice system can be traced to childhood maltreatment. For these young people, successful intervention requires acknowledging and understanding their traumatic histories. This video features three alternative approaches to addressing trauma in young offenders’ lives while still holding them accountable for their actions.
A Call to Action
Despite the violence and abuse that some youth may have already experienced in their short lives, children are resilient. Every person in a child’s life can play a role in helping to protect them and help them heal. This video invites viewers from all walks of life to consider what they can do to help a child in need.