Last Updated on October 1, 2017 by Cindy Bekesi
Growing up with domestic violence (Childhood Domestic Violence or CDV) is the SINGLE BEST PREDICTOR
100 organizations nationwide to partner with CDVA in national distribution campaign
to build critical awareness of CDV, deliver groundbreaking solutions directly to those impacted
As Domestic Violence Awareness Month kicks off on October 1st, there is still very little awareness of what UNICEF calls “the SINGLE BEST PREDICTOR” – Childhood Domestic Violence or CDV. This October, the Childhood Domestic Violence Association (CDVA) is offering free award-winning resources to 100 organizations nationwide via a national distribution campaign to address CDV, which impacts an estimated 15+ million children in the US alone and an estimated 40+ million adult Americans experienced it in childhood.
What is CDV? If a person grows up living with violence between their parents or violence towards a parent, perhaps from a stepparent or significant other, they experience Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV). The violence can be physical or non-physical, or both.
What happens to a life when one grows up living with CDV in their childhood home? According to 3+ decades of research, it has a profound and lasting impact on a life. It negatively wires a developing brain, encoding a series of negative beliefs that often last into adulthood. If unchallenged, they becomes the cornerstone of their cognitive belief system and self concept, and cripple some or all key areas of their life. As they grow up, those impacted often struggle with their physical health, mental wellbeing, behaviors, and relationships. They are 6x more likely to commit suicide, 50% more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and 74% more likely to commit a violent crime. Particularly relevant to Domestic Violence Awareness Month is the fact that, according to UNICEF, growing up with domestic violence is “the single best predictor of children becoming either perpetrators or victims of domestic violence later in life.” It gets passed down across the generations.
UNICEF calls growing it “one of the most pervasive human rights challenges of our time,” underscoring the urgency for raising awareness and developing effective intervention tools and mechanisms. Yet, there is almost no awareness of CDV (<15%), and most who experience it don’t even know what to call it. In addition, no widely practiced solutions exist to help the 1 in 7 Americans impacted to overcome the crippling effects on their lives.
The Childhood Domestic Violence Association seeks to do just that – 1) build universal awareness of CDV as a pervasive social issue that has a dire and lasting impact, and 2) deploy groundbreaking scalable tools, with few barriers, to help as many impacted by CDV as possible.
The CDV TOOLKIT
To that end, we have developed a compilation of groundbreaking tools that have never existed before, which can be scaled widely, to help foster positive outcomes. Created in collaboration with the world’s leading researchers and using the best-known practices over the past three decades, they are each the first of their kind and are packaged together in our CDV TOOLKIT, to help train, prepare, and empower the hundreds of thousands of professionals who work with anyone impacted by CDV to achieve optimal positive interventions.
The National CDV TOOLKIT Distribution Campaign
Generously funded by the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, our 2017 national CDV TOOLKIT Distribution Campaign will distribute a free CDV TOOLKIT to 100 organizations nationwide who interact with impacted children daily. The purpose of the campaign is not only to give organizations unprecedented resources to enable them to optimally intervene with those impacted. It is also to test the practical application, usefulness, efficacy, and overall positive impact that can be achieved by activating these tools widely.
“Our CDV TOOLKIT can be a catalyst for change in the lives of millions who grow up living with domestic violence, as it gives them groundbreaking tools and a compelling roadmap, developed by leading researchers, to help them heal and overcome the negative impact. Through a generous grant, we’ve embarked on an ambitious national campaign to deploy the TOOLKIT through a large network of like-minded organizations, removing barriers to help and empowering professionals who work with impacted individuals to achieve the greatest number of optimal positive interventions possible,” said Brian F. Martin, Founder and CEO, Childhood Domestic Violence Association.
BECOME A CDVA PARTNER, RECEIVE A FREE CDV TOOLKIT!
PHASE I of the campaign was launched earlier in the year, to identify the first 50 appropriate partners. The delivery and activation of the CDV TOOLKIT by each of the selected partners will take place this month. In addition, the selection period for PHASE II of the campaign kicks off today and will end on October 31st, when DV Awareness Month draws to a close. During this time, like-minded organizations nationwide who work daily with at-risk individuals are encouraged to contact CDVA for more information and eligibility requirements for applying to becoming one of the 50 partner for PHASE II of the campaign (by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
“This month, if we truly want to address Domestic Violence, we must start by looking at the issue from a different angle – we must put the spotlight on the leading cause,” said Linda Olson, PhD, CDVA Board Member, Childhood Domestic Violence Association, who is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and social worker focused on treating childhood adversity and particularly CDV. “When we talk about trying to curb lung cancer, we first look at the best predictor – which is smoking. For Domestic Violence, that best predictor is CDV. We cannot hope to curb Domestic Violence unless we focus equally on Childhood Domestic Violence.”