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Children, Violence, and Trauma: Treatments That Work

Exposure to violence can have serious, long-lasting consequences for children. Children exposed to violence are more likely than their peers to—

These consequences are much more severe for children who are exposed to multiple forms of violence, sometimes called "polyvictimization." In fact, 1 in 12 children who responded to the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence1 experienced 7 or more kinds of victimization.

The good news is that effective treatments are available to help these children and their families. Mental health professionals can choose from an array of therapeutic programs that have been rigorously studied and found to be effective. These evidence-based programs and services tend to share several common elements; specifically, they—

Experts strongly recommend that counselors and therapists adopt evidence-based treatment strategies to ensure that children and families receive the best possible treatment. This video features only a few of the many approaches that are considered evidence based by researchers and experts. For more information about the programs featured in this video, please visit their Web sites:

Related Resources


Academy on Violence and Abuse
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
American Psychological Association
Chadwick Center for Children and Families
Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect
Office for Victims of Crime

Web Sites

California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Defending Childhood Initiative
Medical Home for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Violence
National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices


Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence
Children’s Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey
CPP: Child-Parent Psychotherapy
Evidence-Based Practices for Children Exposed to Violence: A Selection from Federal Databases
The Miami Child Well Being Court Project: Building Bridges Across the Judiciary, Child Welfare and Child Mental Health
Policy Statement: Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Role of the Pediatrician
Polyvictimization: Children’s Exposure to Multiple Types of Violence, Crime, and Abuse
TF–CBT: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

1The National Survey of Children Exposed to Violence (NatSCEV) was conducted in 2008. It involved 4,500 telephone interviews with children ages 10–17, and caregivers of children ages 9 and younger, asking about 45 different kinds of violence, abuse, and victimization in the past year and over their lifetime. For more information on the survey and its findings, visit the National Criminal Justice Reference Service and search for NatSCEV.