Why is the Children's Center Needed?

A Social Problem

Children exposed to family violence often face life-long, negative consequences, including a host of physical and psychological health impairments that compromise healthy child development and constitute a serious public health issue. Best practices are not consistently implemented by systems serving these children, and there is a need to strengthen the evidence base for child-focused interventions.


Impact on Children

Children can be exposed to family violence in numerous ways and to different degrees. Some children directly experience the violence, while others are silent observers. Even when children do not directly experience the violence, they are indirectly affected due to the impact of violence on maternal well-being, parenting, and household functioning. Exposure to intimate partner violence (the violence occurring between the child’s caregivers or one caregiver and that person’s intimate partner) is associated with increased risk of other forms of child maltreatment, including physical and emotional abuse and neglect.


More than 15 million children annually witness intimate partner violence.

Statistics on children impacted by family violence:

National estimates indicate that...

  • More than 15 million children annually witness intimate partner violence.
  • Between 3,500 and 4,000 children witness fatal family violence in the U.S. each year.
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In Connecticut...

  • According to the Connecticut State Police, in 2015, children were present at 19% (3,363) of all family violence arrest incidents (17,634) and were directly involved in 8% (1,409) of all family violence arrest incidents. Two (2) children were home at the time that their mother was murdered by their father.
  • According to Connecticut’s Judicial Branch, approximately 25% of the cases it handled each year between 2012 and 2015 involved a child physically present during a family violence arrest.
  • In fiscal year 2016, CCADV’s 18 member organizations provided group support and individual counseling services to nearly 4,700 children. 96% of women housed in emergency shelters reported that they were mothers and over 1,000 children stayed in shelter with them. Of the children staying in shelter, nearly 70% were 6 years old or younger.
  • In one major hospital in Connecticut, more than 25% of pregnant women have disclosed being victims of intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.
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CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence's 18 member organizations...

  • Provided intervention services to 5,927 children in fiscal year 2016 whose children had a parent who had been abused by her or his partner.
  • Provided emergency shelter to over 1,200 adults and over 1,000 children stayed in fiscal year 2016
  • 69% of children staying in Connecticut’s domestic violence shelters in fiscal year2016 were 6 years old or younger.
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