Understand the Problem
Attention to children exposed to violence is a relatively new area of concentration for researchers, clinicians, teachers, parents and in fact, all those who come into contact with children. Until recently, most efforts to understand violence and its impact have focused on the direct victims and perpetrators of violence. And, indeed, this is a critical concern. Beginning in the late 1980s, however, a new body of research and practice was developed and focused on children who are bystanders to violence: violence in the media, in the community and in the home.
If this research is to inform practice, there remains a need to become grounded in the most current thinking about children exposed to violence. This means having a common understanding of the definitions of violence, an appreciation of the historical context and impact of exposure to violence, knowledge of specific data about the problem, and an awareness of the newest interventions. This information can be found in the Description, Social Impact & History, Facts & Myths and Help in Progress sections. The more that is understood, the more skilled child advocates will become in their efforts to inform the public, to determine further areas of study in the field, and to create and change practice strategies.