Domestic Violence
Coordinating Council (DVCC)

Children Resources

Children - DVCC logo

State of Delaware – Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

Children Resources


Court Based Advocacy | Educating Delaware Students | Department of Justice – Family DivisionFamily Visitation Centers |LGBT Resources  | Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders | PFA_vs_NoContact | Teen Dating Resources


Children who witness domestic violence may have the following symptoms

  • eating, sleeping disorders;
  • mood related disorders such as depression, emotional neediness;
  • over compliance, clinginess, withdrawal;
  • aggressive acting out; destructive rages;
  • detachment, avoidance, a fantasy family;
  • somatic complaints;
  • finger biting, restlessness, shaking, stuttering;
  • school problems, and
  • suicidal idealizations.

How Domestic Violence Affects Children Brochure

Second Hand Abuse Wheel

Children - 2nd Hand Wheel



Children of all ages can be deeply affected by domestic violence



  • Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be in an abusive relationship when they grow up – whether as the abuser or the abused; and often experience anxiety, depression, eating and sleeping disorders and developmental delays and behavior problems.
  • Delaware law recognizes that a child can be a witness to an act of domestic violence by sound as well as sight, acknowledging that a child may have only heard the violent act from another room, but nonetheless be a witness who is emotionally impacted by it. (Title 11, Section 1102)

Infants – may not develop the appropriate attachments to their caretakers who are crucial to their development and may suffer “failure to thrive.”

Preschool Children – may regress developmentally and suffer sleep disturbances including nightmares.

School age Children – develop behavioral problems including: depression, anxiety, violence toward peers and difficulty with authority. In some cases the anxiety level can be so high children are afraid to attend school for fear of what will happen to the abused parent or younger siblings when they are not home.

Adolescents– have increased risk for repeating abusive behavior patterns in their dating relationships.

They are also at increased risk for alcohol and drug abuse, criminal behavior and eventual entry into the criminal justice system.

Adolescents are at risk of academic failure, school drop-out, delinquency, and substance abuse. Some investigators have suggested that a history of family violence or abuse is the most significant difference between delinquent and non delinquent youth.


Child Abuse Report Line

All suspected child abuse and neglect must be reported to the 24-hour Division of Family Services (DFS) Child Abuse and Neglect Report Line or online. You may also call any Law Enforcement Agency or 911, but not in lieu of contacting DFS. You are not required to provide proof. Anyone who makes a good faith report based on reasonable grounds is immune from prosecution.

Call 2-1-1 if you need to be connected to resources within the community to help you manage issues whether you are facing multiple challenges such as single parenthood, or need access to low income services and support (i.e. POC, Medicaid, TANF).

Children Advocacy Center of Delaware
New Castle County  302-651-4566
Kent County  302-741-2123
Sussex County  302-854-0323

Provides victim service in a child friendly setting in order to expedite the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases while ensuring the victims receive immediate, effective and sensitive support.

Child Mental Health Mobile Crisis (under age 18)

The victim service is located throughout the State in the Crisis Intervention Service Centers, the Community Mental Health Centers, the Recovery Response Center and Emergency Rooms. Crisis Intervention Service (CIS) staff are available 24 hours a day to assist people, 18 years and older, with severe personal, family or marital problems.

Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s (Wilmington)

Provides mental/behavioral health care services from licensed, bilingual (English/Spanish), culturally competent professionals. Our victim service includes assessment; treatment planning; resource referral; therapeutic support; and education for mental health, substance abuse, and family relationship challenges.

Futures Without Violence

Phone: 415-678-5500
TTY: 1-866-678-8901

From domestic violence and child abuse, to bullying and sexual assault, our groundbreaking programs, policy development, and public action campaigns are designed to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.

Healthy Relationship Website – Love is Respect

Text loveis to 22522*

Highly-trained advocates offer support, information and advocacy to young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships. We also provide information and support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors, service providers and members of law enforcement. Free and confidential phone, live chat and texting services are available 24/7/365

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

TTY: 1-800-787-3224

Provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Callers can expect highly trained, experienced victim service advocates offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information and referral services in more than 200 languages.


Rape Crisis Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

New Castle County

YWCA Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) 1-800-773-8570

Provides complete, free and confidential rape crisis victim service to sexual assault survivors aged 12 and older and their non-offending family members, friends and partners throughout the State of Delaware.

Kent & Sussex Counties

ContactLifeline Rape Crisis 302-761-9100

Assists survivors of a sexual assault, regardless of whether it just happened or happened many years ago with telephone counseling; information and referral; in-person support and assistance at hospitals police stations, and courts; plus, individual counseling for survivors, friends and family.

Delaware State University Rape Crisis  302-420-5751
24/7 victim service and crisis support

University of Delaware Sexual Offense Support (S.O.S.)  302-831-1001 press 1
24/7 victim service and crisis support
(give a first name & phone number and an SOS victim service advocate will call you back within 10 minutes)



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