Domestic Violence and Children

Turning Point’s Children’s Program incorporates parent education and individualized children’s sessions.

The HERO Program

(Help, Encouragement, and Recognition of Observers of Domestic Violence): This specialized program strives to enable children to identify their feelings, understand family violence, gain self-esteem, learn positive anger management, conflict resolution, and safety skills. Six to twelve sessions are provided for children ages 3-18.

Parenting After Domestic Violence

These classes encourage survivors of domestic violence to heal along with their children. Parents learn to support their children by understanding how domestic violence has affected them, learning how to handle their child’s anger, and discovering effective parenting approaches to deal with the negative impact of domestic violence. (In-Shelter only)

Positive Parenting Program
Triple P is an evidence-based program that provides parenting intervention aimed at increasing the knowledge, skills, and confidence of parents, and reducing the prevalence of mental health, emotional, and behavioral problems in children and adolescents.
Teen Dating Abuse Prevention Program

Presentations on healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and red flags of abuse for youth ages 12-18 in the HERO program, in the community, schools, teen clubs, organizations, and for adults who work with or have teens at home. Visit our Teen Talk page for more information.

Statistics on Children and Adolescents Impacted by Domestic Violence
  • More than 15 million children in the United States live in homes in which domestic violence has happened at least once. These children are at greater risk for repeating the cycle as adults by entering into abusive relationships or becoming abusers themselves.
  • A boy who sees his mother being abused is 10 times more likely to abuse his female partner as an adult.
  • A girl who grows up in a home where her father abuses her mother is more than six times as likely to be sexually abused as a girl who grows up in a non-abusive home.
  • Children who witness or are survivors of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are at higher risk for mental and physical conditions as adults, including depression, anxiety, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, substance abuse, and other issues.


Can children recover from witnessing or experiencing domestic violence or abuse?

Although children may never forget what they saw or experienced during the abuse, they can learn healthy ways to deal with their emotions and memories as they mature. The sooner a child gets help, the better his or her chances are for becoming a mentally and physically healthy adult.

Is it better to stay in an abusive relationship rather than raise my children as a single parent?

Children do best in a safe, stable, loving environment, whether that’s with one parent or two. You may think that your kids won’t be negatively affected by the abuse if they never see it happen. But children can also hear abuse, such as screaming and the sounds of hitting. They can also sense tension and fear. Even if your kids don’t see you being abused, they can be negatively affected by the violence they know is happening.

Impact of Exposure to Domestic Violence
Newborn to 5 Years
  • Sleep and/or eating disruptions
  • Withdrawal/lack of responsiveness
  • Intense/pronounced separation anxiety
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Developmental regression, loss of acquired skills
  • Intense anxiety, worries, and/or new fears
  • Increased aggression and/or impulsive behavior
Ages 6 to 11 Years
  • Nightmares, sleep disruptions
  • Aggression and difficulty with peer relationships in school
  • Difficulty with concentration and task completion in school
  • Withdrawal and/or emotional numbing
  • School avoidance and/or truancy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal


Ages 12 to 18 Years
  • Antisocial behavior
  • School failure
  • Impulsive and/or reckless behavior
  • School truancy
  • Substance abuse
  • Running away
  • Involvement in violent or abusive dating relationships