The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) serves as a national repository and distribution center for timely and relevant information and research related to Promoting Responsible Fatherhood programs. The NRFC is NOT able to intervene in individual cases involving domestic violence or other legal matters.
Domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of abusive, threatening and violent behavior that is used by one partner to maintain control over the other partner. Domestic violence is a serious problem affecting families and communities. One in five women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, and over 15 million children witness domestic violence each year. While men can also be victims of domestic assault in their relationships, national studies point out that most domestic violence involves women as victims and males as batterers.
As a father you have an important role in speaking out against violence and protecting the safety of all your family members. As a father, listening to and empathizing with girls and women who have experienced domestic violence, and playing a role in socializing children and other fathers about non-violence is important to improving the lives of individuals and families in your community and beyond.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911. To get guidance on shelter, counseling or other domestic violence services, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
If you know someone who needs help related to child abuse, please call: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
This number is operated by Childhelp®, National Child Abuse Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources.
Tips & Best Practices
- Understanding domestic violence is the first step in stopping it in its tracks. Fathers can play an important role in preventing violence and breaking cycles of violence in their families. This fact sheet breaks down what domestic violence is and how it can impact the whole family.
- Many fathers who have been violent with their partners or children face many obstacles to reach a point where they can be involved in their family’s lives again. Fathering After Violence motivates men to quit violent behavior and become committed fathers and more supportive partners. This fact sheet can help you understand what it takes to actively work to break cycles of violence.
- Domestic violence isn’t always easy to spot. It is important to know the signs of domestic violence and learn how you can better recognize it if it is happening to you or someone you know. This fact sheet explains domestic violence and discusses the myths and misunderstandings commonly associated with it.
It is important to evaluate relationships daily, and take inventory of situations that may have given you pause. You might be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:
- Monitors your phone calls, emails, text messages, social media accounts; micromanages your time; make you account for every minute of your time (when you run errands, visit friends, commute to work);
- Is overly critical; insulting; humiliates you (public or private); makes threats; blackmails you to expose private / sensitive personal information;
- Acts insanely jealous; possessive; constantly accusing you of being unfaithful; smothers you/ ‘clingy’; shows up unannounced (home, job, gym); stalks you; calls excessively;
- Is hypersensitive; has unpredictable, radical mood changes; explosive temper; denies/minimizes the abuse/ blames you for the violent behavior (your fault); and
- Threatens you with weapons; hit; kick; shove; slap; strangle; spit; or otherwise hurts you, your children, pets; cause visible injuries (bruises, cuts, burns); destroys /vandalize property (cell phone, car, home).
Are there potential warning signs of an abusive relationship?
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, some of the subtle warning signs include when a partner: insists on moving quickly into a relationship; insists that you stop participating in your preferred leisure activities or spending time with family and friends; or is extremely jealous or controlling. If you feel you are in danger, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
What can I do to raise awareness of domestic violence?
Every person can take individual action to create a supportive community for survivors. Get involved in your community – the Get Involved Toolkit from the National Network to End Domestic Violence provides great ideas for getting involved and raising awareness.
How can I talk to my child about domestic violence?
It can be difficult to address domestic violence with your children, but it’s important to talk to your children whenever possible. The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers advice for talking to your children about domestic violence.