By Judith Fischer Wollack, president of the Association of Accredited Child & Family Agencies
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which serves as a time to connect individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues and raise awareness.
As non-profit, accredited children welfare agencies, our members primarily work to improve the lives of children and families by providing them with the care they need to thrive. Many of the children in our care and the families we work with have experienced some form of domestic violence.
Children and families in our care receive trauma-informed treatment from trained professionals, as well as mental health support. Some of our agencies also have programs to support young women in their recovery and resilience, as well as trauma recovery resources for children and families.
We know experiencing or witnessing domestic violence has a profound impact on children and can be one of the root issues that brings them into our care. Children who are exposed to or victims of domestic violence are at risk for long-term physical and mental health issues, and may be more likely to be violent in their future relationships, according to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched nationwide in 1987, and over the last 30 years we’ve made much progress in supporting domestic violence victims and their families. However, an average of 20 people in the United States are physically abused by intimate partners every minute, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Our organizations can be a great place to start for children and families impacted by domestic violence. There are many other resources as well:
- Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website for free and confidential help and to create a path to safety.
- Find a list of shelters for domestic violence victims across Michigan.
- Learn more about each AACFA member and discover what resources are available.
Trauma-informed treatment from trained professionals can make a huge impact on domestic violence victims and their families. It’s crucial Michigan’s children and families who have experienced domestic violence have the care they need and deserve during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and beyond.