Intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression by a current or former intimate partner, is a pervasive public health problem impacting 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men in the US. Children exposed to IPV are at increased risk of being abused and neglected and are more likely to develop adverse health, behavioral, psychological and social disorders later in life.

Pediatricians are an important resource for families experiencing IPV and should be aware of the profound effects of exposure to IPV on children. This page provides resources for pediatricians to recognize and support IPV survivors and their children.


Intimate Partner Violence Overview

Intimate partner violence (IPV) - abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship, is a significant public health issue. About 35% of female IPV survivors and more than 11% of male IPV survivors experience some form of physical injury related to IPV. IPV can also result in death.

Violence in an adolescent relationship or teen dating violence (TDV) is a type of intimate partner violence that affects millions of young people in the United States and can take place in person, online or through technology.

IPV is harmful to both; those who experience it and to children in the home who witness it. Witnessing IPV is an adverse childhood experience (ACE) and can have harmful effects on mental, physical, and behavioral health across a child’s lifespan. These include a range of conditions affecting the heart, digestive, reproduction, muscle and bones and nervous systems, many of which are chronic. Survivors can experience mental health problems such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and are at higher risk for engaging in behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking and sexual risk behaviors.

Recognizing and supporting caregivers who experience IPV may be one of the most effective means of preventing child adversity. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Periodic Survey, many pediatricians reported feeling ill-prepared to address IPV in pediatric settings. This page provides information on the Academy’s research, education, policy and advocacy initiatives related to intimate partner violence and is intended to support pediatricians and public health professionals to help support families experiencing violence in the home.

 

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 24/7 to get connected with a live advocate. Visit www.thehotline.org for more information and assistance.

AAP Recommendations

The AAP provides guidance and recommendations to support pediatricians addressing families experiencing intimate partner violence.


Practice Tools & Resources

View practical resources for health professionals to address intimate partner violence in pediatric settings. 

Additional AAP Resources

Learn more about trauma-informed care and child abuse and neglect and view guidance and additional resources.

Trauma-Informed Care
Learn more about the prevention, identification, assessment and response to trauma.
Child Abuse and Neglect
View guidance and resources for pediatricians and pediatric healthcare providers to help identify children who are victims of child abuse and neglect and ways to prevent it.


National Resources and Community Collaboration

Learn about resources in the community and building partnerships with IPV services advocates to support survivors of IPV and their children.

 

Supporting families

Educate parents and caregivers as well as the public about IPV and connect families who may be experiencing IPV to resources and support.

Stress and Violence at Home During Challenging Times
View information from HealthyChildren.org.
Sesame Street in Communities
Sesame Street in Communities contains tools and resources designed for children ages 0-6, covering a wide range of health-related topics (including tough issues such as violence and traumatic experiences).
LoveIsRespect.org
Love is Respect provides resources about preventing unhealthy relationships and intimate partner violence, specifically tailored to young adults.

Legal consideration

Deciding when to report exposure to domestic violence is difficult. Learn more about when a child abuse report is needed and questions to consider to hep think about services and safety planning that may help the family.

This project was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number, NU38OT000282, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The content of the reports does not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by the CDC, or the U.S. Government.

Last Updated

02/16/2022

Source

American Academy of Pediatrics