Improving Services for Violence Against Women and Children During COVID-19

A project of Futures Without Violence, the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The frequency and severity of intimate partner violence (IPV) and child abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic has become exceedingly concerning. Since the start of the pandemic, survivors are facing unprecedented challenges including compounded levels of stress, economic strain and restricted opportunities for connection with social networks, hindering their ability to reach out for support. IPV advocates, pediatric health care providers and child welfare and family violence advocates are well positioned to ensure the unique needs of survivors, of all ages, are met during a national public health emergency.


img1-health-page-updatedThe Improving Services for Violence Against Children and Women project explores the state of IPV, child abuse and neglect, and community-based support agencies working to address the needs of IPV survivors in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a collaborative effort by Futures Without Violence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and research partner, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (UPMC), the project aims to identify unique needs, gaps, barriers, and potential improvements to service provisions within the context of a public health emergency.



img2-health-page-updatedProject partners developed three issue briefs that focus on best practices and innovative strategies that IPV advocates, pediatric healthcare providers and child welfare and family violence advocates can implement to form stronger support networks for survivors of violence and abuse that continue to function in emergency conditions.

The briefs explore the connections between IPV and child abuse, the intersection of family violence with the COVID-19 pandemic, the inequities that shape them both, and practice and systems change recommendations for the field to better serve adult and child survivors during a national crisis. The briefs draw from research by UPMC, which includes a series of interviews with survivors, IPV advocates and administrators, and Child Protective Services (CPS) advocates, and share extensive resources.






Resources for Supporting Intimate Partner Violence Adult and Child Survivors in Pediatric Health Care Settings

Preparing to Support Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and their Children during Public Health Emergencies: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

A short, animated video series related to the experiences of IPV survivors during the pandemic, specifically in pediatric health care settings: 

  • For Families/IPV Survivors:

talking-with-yourTalking With Your Child’s Doctor about IPV

Available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese


  • For Pediatric Health Care Providers:

clinical-care-settingIdentifying IPV in Clinical Care Settings



creating-partnershipsCreating Partnerships with IPV Advocates



Infographics for Pediatric Health Care Providers  


AAP Chapter Grants: Supporting Domestic Violence Adult Survivors and Their Children Through Partnership with Community-Based Service Agencies

Three AAP Chapters, Alabama, DC and Connecticut, were awarded funding to build and enhance partnerships with domestic violence coalitions to support children and women experiencing violence during the pandemic and recovery. These chapters established a leadership team including chapter members, state domestic violence coalitions, culturally-specific community-based organizations, and other child and family-serving partners, including child welfare and mental health providers, to design unique learning opportunities, bi-directional training and a blueprint for building partnerships at the local level between pediatric practices and DV agencies. Learn more:

Alabama Chapter
This team hosted a webinar series to promote training/education on topics including DV and its health impacts, ACEs, children’s mental health, universal education, and building coordinated systems of care between healthcare and DV service providers. They developed a plan of outreach to identify local DV specialists associated with the SAIL program, child welfare workers and pediatricians and their staff and plan webinars. Lastly, they will develop a blueprint for addressing ACEs and trauma-informed care for its members which will be shared at the AL AAP Annual meeting, fall Pediatric Update and state conferences for child welfare workers & DV workers (SAIL). For more information, visit their project webpage: Supporting Alabama Children Experiencing Domestic Violence Through Partnerships.

DC Chapter
This team developed a learning community that offers educational opportunities for pediatricians and IPV advocates working at community-based programs. They also hosted the first DC Regional Academy on Family Violence with DV and child welfare sectors to support networking and training. They will be developing a website to host information and educational opportunities. These educational opportunities will inform their work as they create a blueprint for local partnership development. For more information, visit their project webpage

Connecticut Chapter
This team hosted a webinar focused on how to operationalize universal education, using the CUES framework, in pediatric primary care. They have been designing a learning collaborative/MOC4 project for Connecticut AAP members and pediatricians in the state on universal education on domestic violence in outpatient pediatric settings.


A special thank you to the National Partner Council for their invaluable contributions in support of the development of these new resources, including the infographic series, issue briefs and animated video series. Members of the Council brought a deep thoughtfulness and diverse expertise grounded in health, and gender and racial equity which informed these resources and future resources in development.

Questions? Contact:
This project is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number, NU38OT000282, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.