Children are often forgotten victims in domestic violence situations, but the Buckeye State is trying to address that problem during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
The Ohio Intimate Partner Violence Collaborative is working to create better outcomes for children and families exposed to domestic violence.
Melissa VanFossan, a Children’s Services Caseworker, says intimate partner violence threatens the safety and health of children: "Just children witnessing the physical part is traumatic enough, but when batterers start controlling the survivor that could affect the children in many ways."
In the past, she says caseworkers would approach domestic violence incidents differently and hold everyone in the home accountable, but the new approach uses community resources to back up the non-offending survivor and help the family move forward.
She says the collaborative is also training additional counties and community partners to expand the work at both state and local levels.