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Children Exposed to Violence: A Handbook for Police Trainers to Increase Understanding and Improve Community Reponses

NCJ Number
Linda L. Baker; Peter G. Jaffe; Steven J. Berkowitz; Miriam Berkman
Date Published
100 pages
This handbook is designed to increase the understanding of children’s exposure to domestic violence by police officers responding to these situations.
Children in domestic violence situations have been largely “invisible” to authorities and the public in the past. In the past couple of decades, an understanding of the short and long term impacts of domestic violence on children have been developed. However, this information has not been fully incorporated into relevant educational and training materials. The implications related to children’s exposure to domestic violence generally apply to children’s exposure to other forms of violence. Module 1 defines domestic violence along with its core characteristics. Module 2 describes how children and adolescents are affected; the potential impacts at different developmental stages; case illustrations; and interventions. Module 3 discusses special considerations for police officers. The first consideration is how domestic violence is distinguished by the intimate context in which crimes occur. The second is the significance of the presence of children in domestic violence situations. The third is the assessment of the risks to children in domestic violence situations. The fourth consideration is risk assessment, risk reduction, and safety planning for victims of domestic violence and how they differ from those of other victims. The fifth is the issues related to dual arrests in domestic violence cases. The sixth is how collaboration and coordinated community responses benefit children and their families. The seventh is how specialized training and cross training initiatives promote effective law enforcement interventions and enhance collaborations with community partners. Module 4 answers some frequently asked questions. 2 appendixes