How to Overcome the Impact of Growing Up with Domestic Violence

Brian F. Martin, Author of INVINCIBLE, shares tips and techniques for those who experienced domestic violence as children to overcome their circumstances

NEW YORK (October 29, 2014)— In a recent interview with Marlo Thomas, Brian F. Martin, Founder of CDV-Children of Domestic Violence and author of INVINCIBLE, shared his insight on the impact domestic violence has on the children who experience it. Martin also described the tools and techniques those impacted can use to overcome the trauma and lead successful lives.

Childhood Domestic Violence is growing up in a home with domestic violence between parents or towards a parent from a stepparent or significant other. The violence can be physical or non-physical, or both. Growing in up a home like this negatively wires a developing brain. Children who are raised in these homes often grow up believing 10 key lies about themselves as a result— they believe they are guilty, resentful, sad, alone, angry, hopeless, worthless, fearful, self-conscious, and unloved.

In the interview with Marlo, Martin recalled having a difficult time overcoming these lies, having grown up in a home with domestic violence himself. He noted that children of domestic violence feel especially angry and have a hard time finding ways to control this emotion. To help others deal with the same anger he experienced, Martin developed a technique he calls DATA.

“Getting over the feeling of being angry takes six seconds, and using the DATA technique gives you at least six seconds to think about where you want to be at the end of it all,” Martin said.

To combat anger, Martin’s DATA technique suggests:

  1. Decide: Figure out what it is that you’re feeling

  2. Ask: Ask yourself if you could be wrong about the way you’re feeling toward a given situation

    and if it’s possible that you could be wrong

  3. Truth: Remind yourself of the truth about how things turn out when you act in anger

  4. Act: Decide how to act on your anger

When asked whether the impact of non-physical violence is as bad as physical violence, Martin noted that the psychological effects are very similar. However, since many people don’t realize that words can have just as great of a psychological impact as hitting, they are less inclined to take it seriously or speak about it.

“Many people I’ve talked to have told me that, while the pain of witnessing the physical violence goes away, it’s the verbal part – the words used – have a longer-lasting effect,” said Martin. “This is because the words become a part of them, leading them to feel more bad than good every day; to stop when they should be moving forward.”

Martin founded CDV in 2007 to raise awareness about this epidemic – which affects 10+ million American children and 40 million American adults who used to be these children – and help those impacted overcome the impact and reach their full potential. CDV is the first non-profit organization solely focused on building universal awareness and developing and connecting those who have experienced childhood domestic violence to resources that can help them reach their full potential and break the cycle of violence.

To watch Brian Martin’s full interview on Mondays with Marlo, visit


CDV-Children of Domestic Violence was founded in 2007 by Brian F. Martin and is the first non-profit dedicated to helping those who grew up living with domestic violence reach their full potential. For more information about CDV, visit or follow the foundation on Twitter at @CDVorg.


Brian F. Martin is an entrepreneur, Founder of the non-profit CDV-Children of Domestic Violence and author of INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence and the Truths to Set You Free.


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