Award Winning Documentary

The Children Next Door

Our award-winning documentary THE CHILDREN NEXT DOOR is the first film to look at domestic violence from the perspective of childhood. It takes us on a young family’s journey to uncover the TRUTH that lies beneath a recurring cycle of violence and the solutions to end it.  

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The film, directed by Doug Block, executive-produced by CDV’s Founder Brian F. Martin, and produced by Lynda A. Hansen, was screened at 26 leading film festivals and received multiple awards.




Raised in Tennessee households fraught with domestic violence, Penny and Brad Waldroup vowed when they fell in love to end the cycle. But a 10-year marriage plagued by waves of mounting violence culminated one horrific night in an unspeakable event – all in front of their four children.


The Story Behind the Filming

In January 2012, the Waldroup Family appeared on the Dr. Phil show to share their story of domestic violence passed down through the generations. During the show, the family met Brian F. Martin, the Founder of the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, who himself grew up living with domestic violence. The connection between Brian and the Waldroups was instantaneous, and Brian was so moved by their story that he invited them to share it in a documentary film. 

The filming began with the family’s visit to New York City in March 2012 and continued with two visits to the Waldroup’s hometown. Throughout the filming process, Brian continued to actively mentor and support the children, sharing with them the core TRUTHS to replace the LIES they had learned growing up. 

Chelsea Waldroup, the eldest of the Waldroup children featured in the film, also went on to share her story in CDV’s Best Seller INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence, and the Truths To Set You Free, alongside 22 others who grew up with CDV. Chelsea and her younger siblings Emily and Elijah were also featured in the Emmy-Nominated Nick News children’s program, Family Secrets: When Violence Hits Home, produced by Nickelodeon in 2013 in collaboration with CDV. 

Chelsea’s story, in her own words in also featured here.


Accompanying Discussion Guide

The film comes accompanied by a detailed Discussion Guide, which provides a step-by-step walkthrough of how to organize and host a successful screening and post-screening discussion within the context of 1-1.5 hours.



Doug Block’s searing short…attains a level of pathos as deep as any feature-length documentary. – Anthony Kaufman, Sundance NOW BLOG

It’s a masterpiece – smart, tough, fearless, miraculously compact. – David Schrader, Seattle’s The Stranger

Critic’s Score: A – “Heartbreaking and cathartic…By putting a very human face to a widespread epidemic, Block and ‘The Children Next Door’ both humanize and celebrate the children who survive horrific family tragedies.” – Mark Peikert, BACKSTAGE

The Children Next Door is a powerful and stunning documentary that shows us just how much children are affected by family violence.  Sandra Graham-Bermann, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology & Women’s Studies University of Michigan

License the DVD

To license THE CHILDREN NEXT DOOR for public screening, visit our shop.

The film is currently available under restricted use for organizational or institutional screening only. This special version – which includes the Film In a Box Toolkit – was designed for institutional licensing/purchase for nonprofits, institutions, educational establishments, and public agencies whose work would benefit from this film to use for public or private screenings. The license provides the ability for unrestricted screenings to constituents or in community-wide settings. The DVD is an extended edition that includes extra content featured before and after the film footage to provide additional context for the screening and discussion.

For questions regarding the film or screenings near you, please email

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