When you grow up living with domestic violence, you experience

Childhood Domestic Violence

Childhood Domestic Violence or CDV is

when a person grows up living in a home with violence
between their parents or violence towards a parent.


Those who experience CDV often falsely believe a number of things about themselves, including:


  • “It was my fault. I should
    have been able to stop it”
  • “I am worth less than others.
    I am not enough.”
  • “I need the approval of others
    to replace the lack of esteem
    I feel deep inside

You are not alone.

Those who experience CDV often feel alone because no one talks about it. But, there are millions of others who experienced Childhood Domestic Violence.

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  • 1

    Globally experience CDV
  • 1 in 7

    An estimated 1 in 7
    experience CDV
  • less than

    Current awareness
    of this issue

What is the impact?

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While they may leave behind the violence of their childhood, they’re unable to live the lives they want to lead today, because their perceptions of themselves and the way they relate to others are not as they would have them to be, and they’re not aware of that. 

Dr. Renee McDonald
Leading CDV expert
Associate Dean for Research & Professor of Psychology, SMU

If you experienced CDV, you most likely also experienced one or more of the following in your childhood home:

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  • Physical child abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical neglect
  • Emotional neglect
  • Divorced parents
  • Parental alcohol or drug abuse
  • Mentally ill parent
  • Incarceration of a parent

Some discover the ‘Ordinary Magic’ that is Resilience

Chelsea’s Story: Because of what I went through, there’s nothing I can’t do now. I have already faced so much fear in my life, everything else seems so small in comparison.

Read Chelsea's Story

What can you do?

  • Quiz

    If you’re not sure whether you or someone you care about experienced CDV, this simple quiz will help you get the answer.


  • CDV Library

    A compilation of the leading research in the field and personal stories from those who have experienced CDV.


  • Tools

    Our CDV TOOLKIT was created with input from leading experts, using the best known practices in the field.


What is it like to experience CDV?

WARNING: This video contains graphic content that may not be suitable for all viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Want to help someone like this child?