Silent Victims: How School Social Workers can Support Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

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teachers, domestic violence, victims, operant behavior, school social work, child psychology


Research findings indicate that children who witness violence, particularly in the family, are adversely affected and become silent and hidden victims. To aid in this problem, teachers must become more aware of identifying warning signs, appropriate interventions, and available resources. This study focused on determining what knowledge teachers have relative to the impact of domestic violence on children, the resources available for appropriate intervention, and more importantly, knowledge of prevention strategies. Results indicated that teachers do agree that students are negatively impacted by family violence, that the majority of teachers have no formal training in this area, and some schools have support teams in place to assist children who suffer from family violence. Implications of the study support the need to train teachers how to identify children experiencing family violence, the need for school social work services, and the need for increased awareness so that school personnel can better meet the needs of individual children, leaving no child behind.


This article was originally published as Zosky, D. & Johnson, C. (2004) Silent victims: How school social workers can support children exposed to domestic violence. School Social Work Journal, 29 (1), 40-54.