By: Amy Torchia, Children’s Advocacy Coordinator at the
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Even after having worked as a Children’s Advocate for 27 years, I continue to wish for more ways to hear from children and youth about what it is like to live in a home where there is domestic violence. I am excited to see a new resource that will help to amplify these under-heard voices. The Adults who Experienced Domestic Violence in Childhood (AEDVC) Leadership Forum is an emerging group of local, state, and national advocates in the movement to end gender based violence who identify as having experienced domestic violence in childhood. These adults have intentionally set aside space to give voice to their experiences as children who experienced domestic violence. They represent a diverse group and offer an opportunity for us to learn from their continuum of experiences. Their core belief statements below clearly ask us to listen and pay attention to each of their individual experiences, their relationships, their hopes and gained understandings. This is a voice long missing from the conversation. The more we invite the AEDVC to the table, listen to their messages, and shift our practices, the better we will response to children and families who experience domestic violence. Please check out their website and learn about their work.
What AEDVC believes…
• We believe that children exposed to domestic violence can thrive.
• We believe that each of us should be allowed and encouraged to name our own experience.
• We believe that there is a difference between loving a person who uses violence and condoning their behavior.
• We believe that violence is learned and reinforced by cultural norms, yet accountability and commitment to change can create a new path.
• We believe that our non-abusive parent was faced with limited and complex choices.
• We believe that our unique experiences bring added value to the movement.
These statements reflect the core beliefs of the Adults who Experienced Domestic Violence in Childhood (AEDVC) Leadership Forum. Together, we are working to build a movement that includes the perspectives and priorities of AEDVC in our services, policies, research, messaging, and prevention strategies.
To learn more about how you can be part of this initiative, follow the #AEDVC Leadership Forum on Facebook: facebook.com/aedvc