In National Dialogue on Domestic Violence, One Critical Question Remains Unaddressed

Leading organizations partner with Childhood Domestic Violence Association to build awareness of childhood domestic violence and provide solutions through nationwide distribution of New York Times Bestseller INVINCIBLE; Paperback releasing this October

NEW YORK (September 30, 2015) – With the start of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the issue has never been more prominent in public dialogue. But there is still very little awareness of what UNICEF calls “the SINGLE BEST PREDICTOR of becoming a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence” later in life. And that is Childhood Domestic Violence or CDV. The Childhood Domestic Violence Association is offering award-winning resources to address CDV, which impacts 40 million adults and 15 million children in the US alone, including the paperback of its New York Times Bestseller, releasing this month.

If a person grows up living with domestic violence, they experience Childhood Domestic Violence. CDV is violence between parents or violence towards a parent, perhaps from a stepparent or significant other. The violence can be physical or non-physical, or both, and the impact is the same.

What happens to a life when one grows up living with adversity – particularly CDV – in their childhood home?

It has a profound and lasting impact on a life. It negatively wires a developing brain. It encodes a series of negative beliefs – LIES –that often carry over into adulthood. As they grow up, those impacted struggle in relationships and are also 6x more likely to commit suicide, 50x more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and 74x more likely to commit a violent crime. Yet there is almost no awareness of CDV, and most who experience it don’t even know what to call it.

INVINCIBLE can be a catalyst for change in the lives of millions who grew up living with domestic violence as it gives them a compelling roadmap on the journey to heal and attain the lives they were always meant to have,” said Caryl Stern, CEO of the US Fund for UNICEF. “It is a valuable resource that can renew their hope and guide them on the path to reaching their full potential.”

UNICEF calls growing up with domestic violence “one of the most pervasive human rights issues of our time,” underscoring the need to raise awareness about the problem and to develop effective intervention solutions.

CDV is the focus of the 2014 New York Times Bestseller INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence, and the Truths to Set You Free, authored by Association Founder Brian F. Martin – the first book ever written for anyone who grew up living with domestic violence or anyone who cares about someone who did. As part of the initial release, nearly 18,000 free copies were distributed nationwide through 40 leading social welfare partners, including: UNICEF, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the New York City Department of Education, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the School Social Work Association of America.

“Providing strong support for students living in homes with domestic violence is critical to ensuring they are better able to learn and thrive in school, which is why we are adding counselors throughout our system and offering training to staff so they can respond to students’ needs,” said Lois Herrera, Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Safety and Youth Development at the New York City Department of Education.

INVINCIBLE offers a combination of personal accounts blended with evidence-based facts that combine to provide hope for the many who have grown up with domestic violence,” said Les Nichols, National Vice President of Child & Club Safety, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “It is also an important guidebook to help people who care about young people to compassionately encourage and support them on their journey to make peace with the past and believe in the future.”

“Despite the recent significant increase in public discussion about domestic violence, one key question remains unaddressed: What happens to a life when you grow up living with it? This question is critical, especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, because growing up with it is the SINGLE BEST PREDICTOR of engaging in it later as an adult,” said Martin. “Over half of the 15 million children experiencing it today are being raised by adults who experienced it only a generation prior. So, we cannot solve Domestic Violence without addressing Childhood Domestic Violence. We’re grateful to our partners for their vision in recognizing this and joining forces with us to educate constituents about CDV.”

INVINCIBLE gives a first-hand account of what it’s like to grow up in an abusive home. The stories, statistics and personal reflections allow readers to gain empathy for victims of domestic violence,” commented Anne McInerney, President of the Board of Director, School Social Work Association of America.” The insight will give other victims a voice, as well as strengthen those around them to understand why there are lasting effects. I would recommend this book to any clinical professional working with children and adults who have witnessed or been a victim of abuse, as well as our clients.”

The paperback of INVINCIBLE released October 6th, in midst of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Press interviews available with Brian F. Martin. Please contact Brian Scios at 212-330-8016.


Download PDF

There are many ways for you to partner with us and help bring awareness to CDV and make an impact.