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African-American Children and Domestic Violence: Prevention and Intervention- Stop and Hear a Child's Cry

Domestic violence in any home is disturbing, to say the least. This type of violence is an equal opportunity destroyer. It shows no favor toward a particular rate, religion, age group, or socioeconomic class of individuals as it creates a path of destruction in the lives of families who experience it. Still, that African-Americans are particularly at risk in situations of domestic violence.

Research shows that African-American experience higher rates of domestic violence than other minority groups, and that African-American children are exposed to domestic violence at higher rates than other children. This trauma is further compounded by the reality that African-American children are more likely to be subjected to out-of-home placement through the child welfare system when domestic violence does occur.

Given this set of circumstances, we are left with questions about the fates of African-American children. How do we begin to heal children whose families have been torn apart by not only the physical blows, but also the emotional scars left behind by witnessing and/or experiencing domestic violence? These and other issues were addressed at the June 2003 forum, African-American Children and Domestic Violence: Preven tion and Intervention- Stop and Hear a Child's Cry. This powerful forum addressed the effects of violence both inside and outside the home.

As you watch this DVD, bear in mind the message of hope from the comments, testimony and recommendations of women and men who were exposed to domestic violence; and from the researchers who study this issue. I encourage you to stop and hear a child crying out for a life free from violence. We not only need to address younger generation and the consequences to them but we also need to recognize the impact of adult children who were exposed to domestic violence as children. We want the healing to occur. Please review the video and consider how these insights can be included in work.


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