The federal government recently signaled its commitment to prioritizing domestic violence prevention by creating a new Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This welcome move will allow the government to better address the intersections of domestic violence prevention across all its work.
Domestic violence, which includes abuse between romantic partners, a parent and child, siblings, or others sharing a living environment, is a pervasive public health issue that affects children and families nationwide. In the United States, estimates show around 41% of women and 26% of men experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by a partner in their lifetime. Children exposed to domestic violence at home may experience adverse health, developmental, and safety outcomes in the short and long term.
Addressing a multifaceted issue such as domestic violence requires a comprehensive approach including prevention efforts, supports for those experiencing it and treatment to lessen the long-term consequences. PolicyLab is a supporting partner on several exciting Philadelphia initiatives aiming to enhance health system capacity and community agency response to pregnant people and people with infants and young children experiencing domestic violence.
The priority goals of the new OFVPS will be to develop an action plan for preventing and responding to domestic violence amongst social service programs, lead coordination efforts across agency partners, and prioritize securing resources and implementing programs that support survivors of domestic violence.
We look forward to more information and improved attention and resources to families impacted by domestic violence.
This post is part of our “____ in 200 Words” series. In this series, we tackle issues related to children’s health policy and explain and connect you to resources to help understand them further, all in 200 words. If you have any suggestions for a topic in this series, please send a note to PolicyLab’s Strategic Operations & Communications Director Lauren Walens.