U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Youth Violence: Strategies for Prevention and Early Intervention

NCJ Number
Janet Carter
Date Published
10 pages
This document presents the components for a collaborative, community-based prevention/early intervention effort aimed at reducing the social and economic risk factors for domestic violence.
Child abuse and domestic violence often occur in the same family and are linked in important ways that have serious consequences for the safety of the family as well as the community. The impact of domestic violence and child abuse may continue through adolescence and adulthood. Adolescents who have grown up in violent homes are at risk for recreating the abusive relationships they have seen. Child welfare and domestic violence organizations are now beginning to recognize the overlap between domestic violence and child abuse and the need for collaborative efforts between the two fields. There has never been a comprehensive community-based prevention/early intervention collaboration that addressed all three interrelated types of violence -- child abuse, domestic violence, and youth violence. An effective prevention/early intervention project should have several key elements. The program should target low-income young parents, and should be directed at breaking the isolation of these families by helping them establish supportive ties to the community. The program should provide early, age-appropriate intervention for abused children or those witnessing domestic violence during the first 10 years of life. A community-wide education campaign challenging social norms that ignore or support violence and mobilize individuals to take action against violence in their community should be developed. Young parents, as well as community leaders, and other community members should be involved at the outset in the planning, development, and implementation of all elements of the project. Specific project strategies should be created through the partnership between local public agencies and service providers. A local communications and policy advocacy strategy should be developed and carried out in order to garner the support of public policy makers for prevention/early intervention efforts. This should be a 10- to 15-year effort, not an attempt at a quick fix. 34 references