New York City Takes On Unknown Childhood Adversity

Resources made available to help those who experience childhood domestic violence, including New York Times Bestseller INVINCIBLE; Paperback launching this October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

NEW YORK (Oct. 1, 2015)— Physical child abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse are just some of the well known adversities millions of children face growing up in their homes every day. But one childhood adversity in particular has practically no awareness – Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV). The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) has become a visionary leader in efforts to help 15 million children in the US by providing a distinctive resource on CDV to every public school in New York City.

CDV, which is when a child grows up living in a home with domestic violence, was the subject 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, written by Brian F. Martin, founder of the Childhood Domestic Violence Association. As part of the launch, book copies and teaching guides were distributed through the NYC DOE to train and educate staff on the effects of CDV on children. Training seminars were also provided by the Association to several hundred education department employees.

“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 NYC DOE.

“We’ve taken meaningful steps to address adversities in our communities like hunger and drugs, but we have not sufficiently acknowledged adversities that one faces inside their childhood home. Childhood Domestic Violence has practically no awareness and most who experience it don’t even know what to call it. But it’s the best predictor as to whether or not you will be involved in a domestically violent relationship later in life,” said Martin. “If we want to solve the problem of domestic violence, we must address the problem of childhood domestic violence. The NYC DOE is a pioneer in these efforts and we applaud them for their work.”

CDV has been linked to a number of negative outcomes. More than 40 million adults in the US grew up with it in their childhood homes and half of the children growing up with it today are being raised by adults who experienced the same just a generation prior. UNICEF has also gone on to say it is “one of the most pervasive human rights issues of our time,” further underscoring the need to raise awareness about the problem and develop effective intervention solutions.

The paperback edition of INVINCIBLE will be released on October 6th to coincide with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


The Childhood Domestic Violence Association works to help those who grow up living with domestic violence reach their full potential. It was created to build universal awareness and practical, truly scalable solutions accessible with few barriers to all those who are in need. The Association was initially founded in 2007 by Brian F. Martin as Maker of Memories and later renamed to better reflect its focus, growing mission and scope. Using the leading research and best known practices in the field, the Association develops tools and resources that have never existed before and deploys them through partnerships with leading organizations that directly touch the lives of children and adults impacted by Childhood Domestic Violence to help transform their lives.


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