Children are victims and witnesses

Measures are not sufficient for child protection

Domestic violence by definition takes place between adults who have or had a close relationship. Girls and boys that experience violence between the adults in their family are affected in various ways. An everyday life in a destructive atmosphere and experiencing the humiliation and abuse of a loved one is in its effects equal to being the victim of violence. Furthermore the children in this context are eight times more likely to be abused, neglected or sexually abused than those in families free of violence.

Domestic violence hurts, scares, and stresses children. It is detrimental towards their development and is often a traumatic experience. Furthermore this limits the forming of one’s own life and leads to living either as a victim or as an offender.

In the framework of serious studies, the majority of affected mothers report that their children are experiencing violence. Therefore we have no exceptional situation, but rather have to assume that there are affected children in every kindergarten group and every school class.

The Violence Protection Act, evictions and local networks and women’s shelters are already mile stones in the protection against domestic violence. However these measures are not enough to make children feel as if they are being protected personally.

The affected boys and girls need competent and sensitized adults in their social surroundings as well as effective offers of help in a functioning network. For this purpose the round tables in the district of Kleve are campaigning for. In the years 2007 and 2015, the round-table discussions were held on "Children as victims and witnesses of domestic violence" (2007) and "Silence of children" (2015).

Websites, Literature and Videos


„Handbook for Children and Domestic Violence“
Barbara Kavemann, Ulrike Kryssig (Herausgeber)
VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften


„Handbook first steps manual“
Part of the project „Social early warning system“
Child day care as part of an early warning system
Deutscher Kinderschutzbund Landesverband NRW (Publisher)
Dormagkweg 20
42109 Wuppertal
Telefon 0202 – 754465
Fax 0202 – 755354


Project PräGT
A pratical guideline for the prevention of domestic violence in nurseries
Schriftenreihe Theorie und Praxis 2004
AWO Bundesverband e. V. (Publisher)
Oppelner Str. 130 | 53119 Bonn
Telefon 0228 – 66850
Fax: 0228 – 6685209


Video/DVD „Do you know that, too?“

Five boys and girls talk about their experiences of domestic violence.

Can be ordered from:
Berliner Interventionszentrale bei häuslicher Gewalt „BiG“ (Herausgeber)
Sarrazinstr. 11 – 15
12159 Berlin
Telefon 030 – 61709100
Fax 030 – 61709101


Please calculate 9 plus 4.