No area of the United States is exempt from domestic violence. Unfortunately, families report thousands of cases each year, and often the members most affected by this violence are children. Many children who experience violent, traumatic experiences often carry the negative repercussions from those experiences into adulthood. New York is one state that has recognized the need for additional resources for children who have gone through troubling incidents.
It is important for all New York residents to know the details of laws surrounding domestic violence. Contrary to popular belief, violence in the home can happen among any ethnic group, class or lifestyle and can ultimately damage the physical and mental states of children involved; the website for the state of New York provides additional resources on domestic violence and children. When families seek the services of child welfare, they must first go through an initial safety assessment by a child protection investigator or a Family Assessment Response worker, as well as answer a series of questions about children and their exposure to violence. This step is only the first of many hurdles over which individuals must jump to receive proper support from child welfare.
It is clear that countless children are exposed to a range of unhealthy living situations and incidents. The New York Times reports on one possible solution to this issue: the recent expansion of children’s mental health programs across the state. As health experts statewide pointed out the demand for more support to troubled children, NYC Health and Hospitals announced on September 6 that new programs will soon be available to address the challenges many young people face, including poverty, violence and substance abuse. Altogether, these programs aim to promote healthy living, improve graduation rates and address complex behavioral problems among children exposed to violence in the home.