Domestic violence, exposure, children, COVID-19


D omestic violence is a serious societal problem that sadly threatens many children. Results from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) demonstrate that nearly 26% of children are exposed to family violence during their lifetime, including psychological/emotional intimate partner violence, physical intimate partner violence, parental assault of a sibling, and/or other family violence (Hamby et al., 2011). The consequences can be significant. For instance, childhood exposure to intimate partner violence is associated with mental health issues, such as posttraumatic stress and anxiety symptoms (Hamby et al., 2011). While rates of domestic violence have been declining in the past few decades (Truman & Morgan, 2014), an increase in rates may be occurring from COVID-19. More specifically, Bradbury-Jones and Isham (2020) gave the following bleak warning regarding COVID-19: “Domestic violence rates are rising, and they are rising fast” (p. 2047). As Bradbury-Jones and Isham (2020) explain, one reason for this rise could be because “home is often the space where physical, psychological, and sexual abuse occurs” (p. 2047), making increased time at home during the pandemic problematic for sufferers of domestic violence. In all, it is clear that childhood exposure to domestic violence is serious and consequential, as well as a timely issue to consider given the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, results for interventions discussed in the following two articles by Overbeek et al. (2017) and Pernebo et al. (2019) give hope that the consequences of childhood exposure to domestic violence can be mitigated through proper intervention.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The American Group Psychotherapy Association, Inc.




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



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Psychology Commons