Domestic Violence

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) serves as a national repository and distribution center for timely and relevant information and research related to Promoting Responsible Fatherhood programs. The NRFC is NOT able to intervene in individual cases involving domestic violence or other legal matters.

Domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of abusive, threatening and violent behavior that is used by one partner to maintain control over the other partner. Domestic violence is a serious problem affecting families and communities. One in five women experience domestic violence at sometime in their lives, and over 15 million children witness domestic violence each year. Given these statistics, fatherhood programs may be serving families where violence has been an issue. Fatherhood programs must establish protocols to address domestic violence and protect the safety of all family members including children. HHS-funded state domestic violence coalitions are an important resources in building partnerships with domestic violence providers and developing protocols. Even though domestic violence is a serious problem, most men are not abusive to their families, and fatherhood programs can help all men speak out against violence.

If you or someone you are working with is in immediate danger, call 911. To make a referral for shelter, counseling or other domestic violence services, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

If you know someone who needs help related to child abuse, please call:
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

This number is operated by Childhelp®, National Child Abuse Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources.


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NRFC Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit, Work with Dads, Addressing Domestic Violence

This section of the Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit includes information and resources, including: Partnerships with Domestic Violence Prevention Organizations; Guiding principles for parting agencies; protocols to guide service delivery; staff training; education and awareness building; engaging men as allies; and helpful resources.

Domestic Abuse and Child Welfare

Child abuse, neglect, and domestic violence affect all races, ages, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Child abuse and domestic violence are often found in the same families. Children who witness domestic abuse are also at higher risk of experiencing behavioral, social, emotion, and cognitive problems. Fathers who play a positive and involved role in their children's life have been shown to reduce a child's risk of suffering from abuse and neglect. Responding to child abuse and neglect involves protecting children from harm and supporting families in a safe environment to reduce the risk of future harm to children.

The NRFC provides information, research, and statistics that community members, program providers, and others can use to learn more about domestic violence and child welfare.

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Resources from Online Library

Fatherhood and Domestic Violence: Exploring the Role of Men Who Batter in the Lives of Their Children
Source: American Psychological Association
This report reviews existing research and emerging issues on the intersection between domestic violence and fathering for men with histories of violence.

Fatherhood Programs and Domestic Violence
Source: Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy
This report includes perspectives from domestic violence advocates, batterer intervention programs, and fatherhood program representatives on the scope and challenges of fatherhood programs.

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Other Relevant Resources

Child Neglect: A Guide for Prevention, Assessment, and Intervention

Sponsor: Children's Bureau Office on Child Abuse and Neglect
Part of the Child Abuse and Neglect Users Manual Series

Child Welfare Information Gateway
The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides information to help strengthen families, and provides tools and resources that Responsible Fatherhood programs can utilize to enrich their programs and better serve fathers and families. The Child Welfare Information Gateway also provides materials and directives in Spanish.

As a service of the Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Resource Center supports the integration of healthy marriage and relationship education into targeted safety-net service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive strategy to strengthen families and promote family self-sufficiency.
Healthy marriage and relationship education is not about forcing couples to marry or to stay in unhealthy relationships. It is about building and strengthening relationship skills in ways that help families cope with stress safely; discuss parenting and financial issues in healthy ways; and model positive, non-violent communication for children. We believe that collaboration between healthy relationship education practitioners and domestic violence and child welfare services is an important part of helping families build safe and stable homes. The Resource Center provides free, research-based resources on family safety, including the guide Family Violence Prevention: A Toolkit for Stakeholders, and accompanying online course for service providers.
This resource includes information for the U.S., United Kingdom, and Australia. Information on red flags to help recognize an abusive situation and resources on protecting yourself from abuse and preparing for emergencies.  

Childhelp® is a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect by focusing on prevention, intervention and treatment. The Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NTDAH)
Sponsored in part by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, NTDAH,, is a 24-hour national Web-based and telephone helpline created to help teens (ages 13-18) experiencing dating abuse.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 140 languages through interpreter services.

Promoting Safety : A Resource Packet for Marriage and Relationship Educators and Program Administrators
Author: National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, Anne Menard (National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV))
Promoting Safety : A Resource Packet for Marriage and Relationship Educators and Program Administrators is a series of 5 related Guides developed for relationship and marriage educators and program administrators to help them understand and respond to domestic violence issues that may arise within their programs. The full Resource Packet consists of the following: Understanding Domestic Violence: Definitions, Scope, Impact and Response; Building Effective Partnerships with Domestic Violence Programs; Protocol Development and Implementation: Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence Issues; Screening and Assessment for Domestic Violence: Attending to Safety and Culture; and After Disclosure: Responding to Domestic Violence.

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NRFC Resources

Addressing Domestic Violence: The Role of Fatherhood Programs (2014)
Taking the Domestic Violence Conversation to the Community (2011)
Beyond the Protocol: Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (2010)
The Role of Fatherhood Programs in Addressing Domestic Violence (2008)
Batterers Prevention & Intervention Services for Fatherhood Programs (2007)

Responsible Fatherhood Spotlights
Fathers and Domestic Violence (2008)

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